Skip to main content

Full text of "The rendering of nature in early Greek art"

See other formats

















PROFESSOR LOEWY'S " Die Naturwiedergabe in 
der alteren griechischen Kunst " was published 
at the end of 1900, but appears not to be 
much known by English students of Greek art. 
That an essay of great value should have been 
thus neglected is due probably to two causes : 
first, the work is a closely reasoned argument, 
which can neither be condensed nor given in 
excerpts ; second, Professor Loewy's method is 
unfortunately strange to us. 

A strict scientific discussion is a tonic much 
needed by our archaeology. Many of our his- 
tories, hand-books, and lectures substitute for 
precision of fact and explanation a deal of super- 
fluous moral comment and aesthetic make-believe, 
so that one whom the beauty of the works attracts 
to* study their history is deterred by the method 
of study in vogue. Less pretentious, infinitely 
more useful, and far more difficult to write would 
be a history that should give merely a plain 
statement of the formal changes in art, develop- 


ment of technique, differences of subject, and 
the like : a history whose chapters should be 
like the present essay. 

In it Professor Loewy traces only the course 
of artistic conception of form from the primitive 
period to a period of greater freedom. He gives 
the artists of even the earliest period the credit 
of energy and desire ; he explains their illiterate 
attempts by psychological causes, and does not 
admit as all-sufficient the current and inadequate 
explanations of those who would attribute them 
to technical or material constraint, or the re- 
striction of civil or hierarchic decree, to con- 
vention, and so on. It is this psychological 
criterion which is applied with remarkable power 
of analysis and synthesis to explain the artistic 
phenomena, and the reader will find that it 
illuminates the study of not only Greek art but 
the art of every nation and period. 

The translation may occasionally be found 
elliptical because Professor Loewy, writing for 
German archaeologists, is content to allude to 
points of controversy familiar to them but not 
to us. But I trust that only a few lines will 
thus disconcert the reader. 


Professor Loewy has argued his case so con- 
sistently and so honestly that his conclusions 
must stand till his principles can be overthrown. 
Any trifling objection can be answered, I think, 
by the book itself. 

I am greatly indebted to Professor Loewy, 
Professor Studniczka, Mr. E. P. Warren, and 
Mr. John Marshall for their unsparing help in 
what I have found a difficult task. 

Professor Loewy has slightly amplified the 
text in two places (pp. 30, 84), and has added 
a few notes and references (brought down to 
the summer of 1906). There are twenty illus- 
trations which did not appear in the German 
edition. Mrs. Strong has kindly helped to 
secure these. 


LEWES, May 1907. 






DRAWING .... 5 

RELIEF . 34 

STATUARY ...... 45 




Ak. Berlin. Sitzungsberichte der kon. preussischen Akademie der 
Wissenschaften zu Berlin. 

Ak. Milnchen. Sitzungsberichte der philos.-philol. und der histor.-Classe 
d. k. bayrischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. 

Ancient Marbles. Description of Ancient Marbles in the British 

Annali. Annali dell' Instituto di Corrispondenza archeologica. 
Anzeiger. See Deutsches Jahrbuch. 

Ath. Mitt. Mitteilungen des kais. deutschen archaologischen Instituts in 
Athen (or Athenische Abteilung). 

B. B. Brunn-Bruckmann, Denkmaler griechischer und romischer 

Bull. Corr. Hell. Bulletin de Correspondance hellenique. 
Built. Der schone Mensch im Altertum. H. Bulle. 
B. ph. W. Berliner philologische Wochenschrift. 

Bull. d. Commiss. Arch. Bullettino della Commissione archeologica 
comunale di Roma. 

Collignon. Histoire de la Sculpture grecque. 

Conze. (When not otherwise stated) Die attischen Grabreliefs. A. 

De Ridder. A. de Ridder, Catalogue des Bronzes trouves sur 1'Acropole 

Deutsches Jahrbuch. Jahrbuch des kais. deutschen archaologischen In- 
stituts, with which : Archaologischer Anzeiger. 

Ephemcris. ' 


tudes Grecques. Revue des Etudes grecques. 
/. H. S. Journal of Hellenic Studies. 
Michaelis. Der Parthenon. A. Michaelis. 

Osterr. Jakreshcfte.]ahieshztte des 6'sterreichischen archaologischen 
Institutes in Wien. 

P. and C.G. Perrot and Ch. Chipiez. Histoire de 1'Art dans 

Praktika. Ilpa/m/co, rijs iv 'AOyvais 'ApxaioXayiKijs 'Eratpcfas. 
R. Lined. Atti della R. Accademia dei Lincei, Serie iv, Rendiconti. 
Repertoire. S. Reinach, Repertoire de la statuaire grecque et romaine. 
Rev. Arch. Revue Archeologique, III e serie. 

Rom. Mitt. Mitteilungen des kais. deutschen archaologischen Instituts. 
Romische Abteilung. 

Zentral-Brasilien. Unter den Naturvolkern Zentral-Brasiliens. (K. von 
den Steinen.) 




ALL style in imitative art, i.e. art that represents 
real forms, involves an alteration of the appear- 
ances presented by reality, or, at least, a selection 
from them. In so far, then, as the history of art 
is concerned with artistic form itself, its duty is 
to determine in each case the relation between 
the representation and the thing represented. 
In a systematic criticism of Greek art from this 
point of view, such as I have repeatedly at- 
tempted in my lectures, and may some day 
publish in detail, it has seemed imperative to 
penetrate beyond the actual phenomena of art to 
the causes which gave them rise. This task, 
as regards the main principles, is what the 
present book endeavours to fulfil for archaic 
and, indirectly, for later Greek art also. The 
exposition lays no claim to a novel point of 
departure ; and, further, I should not feel justified 
in publishing it, even by the fact that the explana- 
tion has never yet, to my knowledge, been 


coherently applied to the entire complex of the 
phenomena of archaic art. I wished, however, 
to insist upon a fundamental principle, the con- 
sistent recognition of which I have often felt to 
be wanting in the prevailing manner of reviewing 
the beginnings of art, and the relations of art to 
nature throughout its history. 

In some respects the essay is a sequel to a 
lecture published some years ago, Lysipp und 
seine Stellung in der griechischen Plastik (1). 
That lecture agreed in one cardinal point with 
a work published later, namely, Julius Lange's 
" Billedkunstens Fremstilling af Menneskeskik- 
kelsen " (2), and so in the present essay I have 
sometimes cited Lange for observations pre- 
viously made by myself (3). For the rest, 
conformably to the immediate purpose of my 
essay, I have quoted as little as might be, 

(1) Hamburg, 1891. Cp. Mitteilungen des oster- 
reichischen Museums fur Kunst und Industrie, xix, 1884, 
pp. 257 sq. 

(2) Memoires de 1' Academic Royale de Copenhague, 
1892. A second and third part, ibid.^ 1898 and 1903. 

(3) I had written the present essay in July 1899 before 
I learnt the full import of Lange's treatises in the German 
translation : Darstellung des Menschen in der alteren 
griechischen Kunst (Strassburg, 1899), from which I quote. 


especially of polemical matter, and out of regard 
for readers unacquainted with archaeology, have 
given a fair number of illustrations and ample 
references to books where more may be 
found (4). 

(4) In some cases indeed it would be desirable to refer to 
casts or the originals, especially of reliefs. For the common 
characteristics of ancient drawing special references seemed 



EVEN to the layman there is noticeable in 
archaic Greek art a series of peculiarities which 
can be formulated as follows : 

1. The conformation and movement of the 
figures and their parts are limited to a few 
typical shapes. 

2. The single forms are stylised, i.e. they are 
schematised so as to present linear formations 
that are regular, or tend to regularity. 

3. The representation of form proceeds from 
the outline, whether this outline is maintained 
independent and linear, or, being of the same 
colour as the inner surface, combines with it to 
make a silhouette (l). 

(1) The earliest preserved paintings on stone, and the more 
carefully executed ones on terracotta (tablets, sarcophagi, and 
even vases), give instances of independent contour along with 

A S 


4. When colours occur they are uniform, and 
are without regard for the modifications of tone 
caused by light and shade. 

5. As a general rule the figures are shown 
to the spectator with each of their parts in its 
broadest aspect, as we shall express it for the 

6. Apart from a few definite exceptions, the 
figures of a composition are spread out over the 
Surface of the picture without allowing the main 
parts to cross or overlap, so that objects which in 
nature would be behind one another are drawn 
out and placed alongside of each other in the 

7. The representation of the environment in 
which the action takes place is omitted, wholly 
or for the most part. 

To these peculiarities Greek drawing remained 
true in all essentials, notwithstanding gradual 

an interior of different colour. It has been said more than 
once that from the dark-coloured silhouettes of ceramic 
painting one must not infer the dark silhouette for painting 
proper (Furtwangler, B. ph. W., 1894, col. 112; Pettier, 
Etudes grecques, xi, 1898, pp. 378 sqq.); and ceramic paint- 
ing itself affords many indications (e.g., Studniczka, Deutsches 
Jahrb., ii, 1887, p. 150) that the form began with contour, 
thus justifying the above definition. 


differences, from the earliest period in which 
we can trace a certain and consistent develop- 
ment of art upon Greek soil till about the middle 
of the sixth century B.C. And it is not the isolated 
occurrence of one or other of these traits that 
characterises the archaic style, but the steady 
and close combination of them all. In all these 
characteristics there is one common principle, 
namely, an independence of the real appearance 
of objects, an independence that not seldom 
amounts to open opposition. 

The characteristics mentioned are not limited 
to Greek archaic art. Julius Lange (2) has 
shown that Nos. 3, 4, and 5 appear in every 
primitive art of the present as well as of the past. 
And there is no need to remind the reader that 
the others also (3), only with certain reserves 
affecting No. 7 (4), occur at least in the drawing 

(2) Lange, pp. xxi sqq. 

(3) The strict tectonic character of Greek art, in the 
narrow sense (for the Mycenaean period, see page 29 sq.\ 
allows figures to be placed alongside of one another (No. 6), 
for the most part only horizontally. In the Dipylon style, 
however, figures placed one above the other are not un- 
common, such as are frequent in Egyptian work. 

(4) The element of landscape is given more extensive 
consideration in Egyptian, and especially in Assyrian art (see 
Lange, p. 94, and, below, p. 16, note 13). 


of the ancient cultivated races of Egypt and 
Western Asia. 

How does art come by this method of re- 
presentation ? 

The universal, or, at any rate, wide diffusion 
of it (there being no positive reason to admit 
the idea of mutual borrowing) rules out of court 
any theory in which deliberate intent or purpose 
plays a part. Thus it rules out, in the first in- 
stance, the usual explanation of the above peculi- 
arities as being conventions. Secondly, it rules 
out any solution attributing them to a dislike, for 
one reason or another, of optical illusion (5) : this 
dislike, as some suppose, having led the artist 
wittingly to refrain from reproducing the diminu- 
tions and foreshortenings as he actually saw 
them, and to select from amongst the real 
appearances those that were most definite and 
easily reproducible, in some cases, completing 
the work by adding to it parts of the object 
which from his point of view he could not 
see (6). But such endeavours towards com- 
pleteness and intelligibility are hard to re- 

(5) Perrot et Chipiez, i, p. 742 ; Lange, p. xxii. 

(6) Perrot et Chipiez, i, p. 744. 


concile with the indifference to environment 
mentioned above. Deliberate purpose seems 
to play no role in the theories which either 
derive the typical and stylised forms in archaic 
art from a simplification of forms through an oft- 
repeated representation (7), or would have them 
caused by favourable or unfavourable technical 
conditions (8). But the theory of simplifica- 
tion, wherever it finds stylisation, must logi- 
cally assume a realistic kind of representation 
to have previously existed ; and it makes no 
account of the most rigid schematism not un- 
commonly found in combination with very careful 
execution. Further, both these theories (of 
simplification and technical conditions) concern 
only single phenomena, and do not deal with the 

(7) Cf. Conze, Uber den Ursprung der bildenden 
Kunst, Ak. Berlin, 1897, pp. 105 sq. ; cf. Collier, Primer of 
Art, pp. 10 sf. Here belongs also the influence of picture- 
writing as claimed by Perrot, pp. 763 sq. We can only refer 
to the importance which this point of view has recently 
acquired in theories concerning the origin of ornament (I 
am indebted to Prof. G. A. Colini for information concern- 
ing the literature). 

(8) Cf. Riegl, Stilfragen, p. 30 (who here too, however, 
assumes a conscious action); Conze, pp. 98 sqq. ; Balfour, 
Decorative Art, p. 88 ; Haddon, Evolution in Art, pp. 75 


whole complex of facts that go to form the char- 
acter of archaic art. 

For the groups of phenomena Nos. i and 2, 
another explanation has sometimes found a 
hearing (9). This is based upon the more and 
more fully recognised role which memory plays 
in the creation and acceptance of art (10). 
As the result of the visual impressions which 
we have received from numerous examples of 
the same object, there remains fixed in our 
minds a memory-picture, which is no other than 
the Platonic Idea of the object (11), namely, 
a typical picture, clear of everything individual 
or accidental. The graphic expression of this 
would be a scheme of lines and planes ap- 
proaching as nearly as possible simple geomet- 
ric forms : this is stylisation. The expression 
can certainly become more pronounced and fixed 
by stereotyped repetition, as above mentioned, 

(9) First spoken of, to my knowledge, by E. Briicke, 
Die Darstellung der Bewegung durch die bildenden Kiinste, 
Deutsche Rundschau, xxvi, 1881, pp. 43 sq. 

(10) Compare Fechner, Vorschule der Asthetik, i, pp. 
86 sqq. ; Exner, Physiologic des Fliegens, pp. 13 sqq. 

(11) Cf. also Treu, Deutsches Jahrbuch, v, 1890, Anzeiger, 
p. 62. 


and by technical conditions, even as, on the 
other hand, stylisation in art may coincide with a 
stylisation ready-made in the originals them- 
selves for instance, in the hair, beard, and 
drapery, in the artificial plaitings of the hair of 
animals, and in the training of plants. Similarly 
tectonic and decorative requirements may also 
help to the result. Yet these are all secondary 
factors. In combination with the variety of im- 
pressions acting upon the memory (such as the 
different aspects of race, dress, and manner of 
living), and, further, with the endlessly varied 
intensity and quality of the conception of form 
according to the individual or racial temperament, 
these factors assuredly determine the appearance 
of a definite style, but no one of them is indis- 
pensable to the production of stylisation itself. 

The memory-picture, as we termed it, is, how- 
ever, only one, though certainly an important, 
element in a psychical process the discussion of 
which may, I think, help to explain much else 
in art (12). 

(12) I suppose that this subject has been treated in 
psychological literature, but my limited researches have not 
brought to my notice any study of the matter. 


Not all the images of objects, even of those 
frequently seen, are equally retained by the 
memory, which prefers, rather, to make a 
selection. We have seen numberless times a 
leaf, a wheel, an ear, an eye, an outstretched 
hand, and so on, from their every point of view, 
but nevertheless so often as we thoughtlessly 
picture to ourselves a leaf, a wheel, etc., there 
appears in our mind only one image of each, 
and in the case of the objects named, the images 
will be those in which they show us their 
broadest aspect. Breadth is, indeed, not the 
determining circumstance ; for instance, we 
think of the moon as a crescent and not as a 
disc, except when we are thinking purposely of 
a full moon. The aspect which is selected by 
the memory is that which shows the form with 
the property that differentiates it from other 
forms, makes it thereby most easily distinguish- 
able, and presents it in the greatest possible 
clearness and completeness of its constituent 
parts : this aspect will certainly be found in 
almost every case to be coincident with the 
form's greatest expansion. It results that the 
mental image of a quadruped, a fish, a rosebud, 


takes spontaneously a side view, and that of 
a fly, a lizard, a full-blown rose, takes a view 
as seen from above. Any other view, if the 
memory can recall one at all, would require a 
special and conscious effort to bring it to the 
mind. If several aspects equally satisfy the 
above demands as the side and front, or top, 
views of certain animals' heads (oxen, dogs, for 
example) there may be several forms of spon- 
taneous memory-pictures ; this does not alter the 
fact of selection. 

Now if we try to call clearly to our minds any 
image whatever, we see it isolated and sur- 
rounded by a void. To an imagination that is 
quite embryonic and, for one reason or another, 
wanting in intensity, the image may appear in 
one single dimension, i.e. a mere impression of 
the direction in which a body is more extended 
or most characteristic. The greater the need for 
distinctness the more completely the image 
requires to be circumscribed, and to be detached 
the more cleanly from the abstract ground. Yet 
this detached plane offers in itself no hold to 
the imagination ; it is only through the line of 
demarcation, separating it from the void and 


defining the form, that a form can be seized by 
consciousness, and it is this line of demarcation, 
the contour, that consciousness first seeks. 

The unpractised memory, however, is a very 
limited one. It embraces, in fact, only the simplest 
forms. Most objects, being more or less complex, 
leave behind them only an indistinct image of 
their general appearance. To make this image 
clearer the imagination proceeds as follows: it 
brings the component parts one by one into con- 
sciousness, and with these familiar elements 
builds up the image which it cannot picture 
to itself as a whole. In this the imagination 
differs from physical reality. The latter unites 
and interweaves the parts in accordance with 
the principles of the organic formation peculiar 
to the object, without concern as to how they 
should present themselves to the eye from a 
given standpoint. The principle upon which 
mental images are built up is that the elements, 
viz., the spontaneous single memory-pictures as 
explained above, are set up one beside the 
other in the order in which they happen to 
follow one another into consciousness. Thus 
in the mental process the organic whole of the 


natural object is resolved into a succession of 
images of its parts, each part independent of the 
other, and seen in its fullest aspect, in which 
process the closeness of combination, the accept- 
ance, or rejection of the parts is determined 
entirely by the force of association in the 
imagination : parts which are essential or- 
ganically may be omitted because they are of 
indifferent importance to consciousness, whilst 
the imagination requires to see in its picture 
everything that is inseparable from the clear 
consciousness of the object, though the whole 
thus put together may be irreconcilable with 
any one aspect of reality. 

That which has been said about single 
objects has equal bearing upon mental 
images of incidents and actions. We may 
likewise apply the principle to the relation 
between mental image and environment. In 
nature the object and its background com- 
bine together in one picture : imagination 
that is not trained in artistic observation 
brings these into consciousness as separate 
elements. As a rule, of course (and the more 
childlike the recipient imagination is, the more 


certain will this be) (13), the attention and, accord- 
ingly, the memory are absorbed by the animated 
and active features of a scene, and the local back- 
ground as such leaves no impression. But where 
a local element plays an active part in the scene 
it takes its place like every other element in 
the evolving of the mental image, i.e. single, 
separated from its local bearing, and placed in 
that position which is prescribed by the build- 
ing up of the mental and not of the material 

Finally, in accordance with the same principle, 
the imagination, provided it have the elements 
at its disposal, can also construct such pictures 
as have never been actually seen, or, if seen, 
would not be powerful to produce in the memory 
a distinct image. To this class belong most of 
the moments of movement. That in cases of 
movement the mind's eye can grasp only the 

(13) Individual and ethnical temperament is indeed also 
a factor. The Egyptians, and still more the Assyrians, were 
remarkable, as compared with the Greeks, for their interest 
in landscape : cf. Wilkinson's Manners and Customs of the 
Ancient Egyptians, 2nd ed., I, pp. 365 sqq., 375 sqq. ; 
Kohler, Ath. Mitt, viii, 1883, pp. 4 sq. This in connection 
with note 4 on page 7. 


moments of relative rest (14), is but another 
instance of the above-mentioned selection. But 
often even these acquisitions of the memory do 
not suffice for an exact picture ; they mostly 
consist of mere impressions of direction, such as 
bowing, bending, undulating, etc. The imagina- 
tion endeavours to reproduce these impressions 
by seeking to bring the elements, ever in that 
shape in which they appear to the mind, into 
such order as the moment of motion seized 
seemed to present. How far removed from 
reality are the results of this process we of the 
present day have been made aware by instan- 
taneous photography. 

The process described rules our concep- 
tion of images, and the more primitive the 
conception the more unlimited is its rule. 
Instances of this we can see every day 
in the drawings of persons artistically untrained, 
not merely in those of children and savages. 
Their drawings do not copy a given aspect of 
reality (15). These simple draughtsmen, when 

(14) Briicke, Deutsche Rundschau, xxvi, i88i,pp. 43, 47. 

(15) Cf. Hildebrand, Problem der Form, p. 91 ; 
Conze, Ursprung der bildenden Kunst (Sitzungsberichte 
der Akademie zu Berlin, 1897), p. 104, 


placed in front of the object itself, would be 
for the most part quite incapable of render- 
ing it directly (16). For along with the 
pictures that reality presents to the eye, 
there exists another world of images, living 
or coming into life in our minds alone, which, 
though indeed suggested by reality, are never- 
theless essentially metamorphosed. Every primi- 
tive artist, when endeavouring to imitate nature 
(17), seeks with the spontaneity of a psychical 
function to reproduce merely these mental 
images. And so it was with the Greek artist. 
Perfect reflections, indeed, of these psychic 

(16) Cf. Conze, ibid., p. 104. The apparently adverse 
account of Von den Steinen, Zentr.-Brasilien, p. 251, is 
really a confirmation. 

(17) Ornamental forms that are not figures are not 
considered in our present argument. They would come 
into consideration only in so far as they can be traced to 
representations of real things according to the theories 
mentioned on page 9, note 7, which need not be dis- 
cussed here. So far as I see, the designs in question are 
exactly in accordance with the principles enumerated at 
the outset, which, inversely, control also animal and human 
forms which spring from mere ornaments (for examples, 
Reinach, La sculpture en Europe avant les influences greco- 
romaines, L'Anthropologie, v-vii, 1894-96). I may say 
the same of the picture-writings that I have been able to 


processes we may not hope to find even in the 
earliest archaic drawings that have come down 
to us. Even in children's drawings we hardly find 
them quite unmixed, and this irrespective of the fact 
that the child has not complete mastery of his pen- 
cil. For the mere translation of the mental image 
into graphic form contains a revolutionary germ. 
We have spoken of the free manner in which 
the mental image omits parts that are organically 
indispensable (18); for example, in children's 
drawings the pictorial conception of a man often 
consists of only a head and legs (19). And when 
aware that there is something lacking, the primi- 
tive draughtsman will not always find the desired 
complement, even after deliberately calling up his 
supply of mental images. In like manner a lack 
of clearness in the composition and placing of 
the parts may produce perplexity, one has 

(18) The above applies to the representation of a whole 
object by single prominent characteristics, as a serpent by the 
pattern on its body (Ehrenreich, Beitrage zur Volkerkunde 
Brasiliens, pp. 24 sq. ; Von den Steinen, Zentr.-Brasilien,pp. 258 


(19) See C. Ricci, Arte dei Bambini, Fig. 2; cf. ibid., 
Figs. 3 sqq. ; Sully, Studies of Childhood, Fig. 19. For 
the head, see also Benndorf, Osterreich. Jahreshefte, i, 1898, 
p. 8. 


only to think of children's drawings, in which 
the arms grow out of the hips (20), and of 
pictures by Brazilian savages, where the Euro- 
pean's moustache is planted on his forehead (21). 
In the mental image there can co-exist elements 
where in reality the one would be excluded by 
the other, e.g., two eyes in the profile view of a 
face (22) ; when drawn these elements dispute 
with one another the material space. In the 
effort to tell a story graphically there will be 
things to be represented for which the memory- 
pictures are entirely wanting. Such experiences 
would urge the draughtsman endowed with artistic 
energy to direct or indirect recourse to nature. 

Judging from this point of view, we must 
conclude that the art of the ancient peoples, 
as far as we can trace it back, is already 
well advanced from its most primitive stages. 
Not only have manifold practice and experi- 
ence lent firmness of line, proportion, and 

(20) Ricci,Figs. 8 sq.\ cf. Sully, Fig. 1 5 , 21, and our ^ig. i. 

(21) Von den Steinen, pp. 251 sq. 

(22) Ricci, Fig. 18; cf. 13, 26; Sully, Figs. 6, 14. 
Or, rather, they do not exist in the mind at one and 
the same time, but the instantaneous succession of the 
images makes them appear to consciousness as if they were 

FIG. i. 

A school-boy's drawing on the wall of a house in 
Alt-Aussee (Styria). 

Drawing's by natives of British Xe\v Guinea. 
No. 24 (after Hacklon) : Hammer-headed Shark (/.ygac-na). 
Xo. 25 (Maddon) : Zebra or Tiger-Shark (Stegostoma tigrinuml) 
No. 29 (Haddon) : Sucker-fish (Echincis na iterates}. 


adaptation to the space given, but even in 
the earliest drawings preserved we can dis- 
cover infinite and deliberate observation of 
nature transforming the purely mental images. 
The more outrageous optical inconsistencies 
are avoided, and the full visibility of single 
parts is not seldom sacrificed out of con- 
sideration for the whole (23). The device 
of spreading out the figures one alongside 
of the other, in accordance with the mental 
process, yields sometimes to a perspective 
arrangement suggesting depth. In this way 
horses harnessed together, marching soldiers, 
and the like, are indicated by the repetition of 
a greater or lesser part of the figures, or 
even, as in the case of chair-legs, wheels, 
wings, horns, and entire bodies of animals, the 
one behind is covered by the corresponding one 
in front (24). And yet in each of the districts 
of art mentioned (ancient Egyptian, Assyrian, 
Greek; etc.), we need not go far to find, along 

(23) E.g., the foot. An instance of the primary expression 
is given in Fig. 2, No. 45. 

(24) These phenomena have now been systematically 
treated by Delbriickj Beitrage zur Kenntnis der Linienper- 


with such proofs of regard for nature, number- 
less others which still manifest the most primitive 
form of conception. What extreme perversion of 
reality, i.e. extreme fidelity to the simple mental 
picture, is shown in the Dipylon style (to limit 
ourselves to Greek art) (Figs. 3-5) ! For in- 
stance, the artist, in combining the separately 
conceived elements, has often not succeeded 
even in making his figures touch the ground, 
nor covered the legs of the charioteer by the 
body of the chariot (25) ; and in the draw- 
ing of the chariot (26) he has failed to show 
the component parts as a connected whole 
(Fig. 3). Who will be surprised by the dead 

spektive in d. griechischen Kunst. But I do not agree 
with Delbriick when he thinks (p. 18) that the further 
horse in the Dipylon-vase bigas is placed in front view. 
The drawing proceeded from the contour of the further 
horse ; the prominent breast is characteristic of the horse's 
profile in this style (cf., for example, Annali, 1872, pi. i). 

(25) Monumenti, ix, 1872, pi. 40, 3; Historische 
und philologische Aufsatze Ernst Curtius gewidmet, p. 355; 
P. Girard, Peinture antique, Fig. 67. 

(26) Pernice (Ath. Mitt, xvii, 1892, p. 293) has already ob- 
served the instructive parallel between our Fig. 3, the earlier, 
and Fig. 4, the more advanced solution of the identical 
problem however crystallised both may be. Whoever follows 
Helbig (Das homerische Epos, 2nd ed., pp. 139 sq.) in sup- 

FIGS. 3-5. 

Bigas on " Dipylon "-vases. Athens. 

Ship and rowers on " Dipylon "-vase. Paris. 



men on these vases (27), lying rigidly on their 
sides for the sake of preserving full visibility 
in the sense of the mental image, when a con- 
siderably later period of painting (Fig. 6), in spite 
of what the situation required, draws the com- 
panions of Ulysses hanging down, not directly 
under the rams, but all on one side ? 

And when we proceed to the most advanced 
manifestations of archaic drawing : the figures are 
still mostly put together from spontaneous memory- 
pictures ; bodies appear twisted, faces squint- 
eyed, plants look as if they had been pressed 
in an album. So the figures are still deployed 
in line, and their grouping, even if we include the 
rare cases of deliberate representations of crowds, 
scarcely goes further than the above-mentioned 
method of shifting them like side-scenes, one before Page 21. 
the other, of crossing arms and legs of men, and 
the necks of animals, and of intersecting a larger 
figure by a smaller one, e.g., a man by the hori- 
zontal body of an animal, or vice versa. In 

posing only one horse to be intended in Fig. 4, must logically 
find only one wheel for the chariot (cf. Brunn, Kunst- 
geschichte, i, p. 32). For parallel instances see Von den 
Steinen, pi. 19, p. 253 ; our Fig. 2. 

(27) Collignon, i, 39; Monumenti, ix, 1872, pi. 39, i. 


spite of occasional confusions, fidelity to the 
contour, that line of demarcation by which 
form is circumscribed and evoked from the void, 

p age 13 emerges triumphant. The silhouette still tends 
to isolation, sharply detached from a neutral 
field of contrasting colour, with no environment 

Page 13 and no shadows cast. And the drapery, fairly 
correct for more restful poses only, is otherwise 
an attempt to fix a vague reminiscence of the 

Page 16 general direction of movement. Even at this 
sq ' stage art is not much more than a mechanic- 
ally true transcript of the psychical processes 
which we have described. The artist does not 
draw in this manner out of capricious disregard 
for nature, but because in all these things he has 
not yet succeeded in seizing the forms of nature. 
Why does art, till the middle of the sixth 
century, scarcely ever venture upon a fore- 
shortening, the expression of an emotion in 
the face (28), or a more active play of the 
fingers, than that of a merely extended palm 
or doubled fist ? Why does it find such diffi- 
culties with the inner drawing of the ear, and 

(28) Cf. Girard, Revue des Etudes grecques, vii, 1894, 
PP- 337 W, Monuments grecs, 1895-97, pp. 7 sqq. 


whence the helplessness in the rare front views 
of the cheek outline, nose, knee, and in the 
anatomy of the softer parts of the body? 
The answer is that there exist no sufficient 
memory-pictures of these forms in the primitive 
imagination : either by reason of their character 
they lie outside that selection of the memory, or Page 12 

SO ' m 

by being seen in reality for too short a moment, 
their details would not be firmly retained (this 
applies, I think, to expressions of faces), or 
again because they are incompletely defined by 
an interior shadow, itself faint, and therefore 
escape the comprehension by contour which the 
mind requires. This last consideration explains, Page 13 
amongst other things, why in every art from the 
beginning, the female body, being less marked 
and divided by musculature, is less well repre- 
sented than the male, the child than the grown 
up person ; a further condition was given by the 
existing habits of life (29), whether favourable 

(29) Lange (pp. 57 sqq.} traces the tendency of archaic 
Greek art, which, according to him, is exclusively directed 
towards the youthful and masculine, to the then dominant 
ideal of athletic youth ; but this exclusiveness, as he himself 
recognises, is not confirmed by what we know of the general 
feeling of that period. Nor do the works of art sustain his 


or adverse to the memory-pictures of the nude. 
Of the forms mentioned, for which memory pic- 
tures are insufficient, some have always been con- 
sidered difficult things to draw, and are so con- 
sidered to-day, even when they can be quietly 
studied from nature. This difficulty may help 
us to estimate how valuable are the accumula- 
tions of memory as unconscious preparation for 
the representation of what we see. And so we 
can understand why quite ingenuous art is incap- 
17 able of giving an immediate rendering of nature. 
It is worth while to note the manner in which 
art, when strong enough to observe, turns to 
account its observations of nature. For this it 
appears to me specially significant that in the 
more developed archaic period, as has often been 
noticed, there is a relatively greater conformity to 
nature in the representations of objects less com- 
monly seen, as of animals rather than of men (30), 

thesis. Justice is done to the feminine and to venerable age, 
though the character in both is limited generally to the head. 
Further, in treating the nude, art was at least as fair to the 
grown man as to the youth. 

(30) It is generally maintained as an absolute law, and one 
particularly applicable to the most primitive art, that animal 
representations are superior to those of human figures ; but 
the law is confirmed neither by the oldest examples of Greek 


particularly those animals with which men are 
not daily associated, of men of foreign races 
rather than those of their own kind, and so 
on. In all these cases the artists had not at 
once at their disposal a more or less satisfactory 
memory-picture, and so being compelled to ob- 
serve nature they imitated her more closely. 
But it must not therefore be supposed that these 
productions represent pictures made on the spot ; 
judged by their entire structure, the typical gener- 
alisation of line, the exhibition of the fullest as- 
pect and so on, they too betray themselves as 
being memory-pictures assimilated to the com- 
mon store although consciously acquired. 

And this applies in principle to every case of 
observation of nature in the period of art with 
which we are occupied. 

art (for Mycenaean see elsewhere, p. 29 s?.), nor by the drawings 
of children and savages (cf. Ricci, Arte dei Bambini, Figs. 1 8 
sqq. j Sully, Studies of Childhood, Figs. 43 sqq., 52; Von 
den Steinen, Zentral-Brasilien, pi. 16 sqq. and our Fig. 2). 
Rather the perfection in the rendering of animal forms is 
everywhere in direct proportion to the simplicity of their 
construction, i.e. to the ease with which they are committed 
to memory. In cave-art also (cf. p. 31) the rare examples 
of human figures in drawing, and more especially the more 
frequent figures in the round, do not justify the opinion. 


There remains to be discussed one more of the 
characteristics of archaic drawing enumerated 
at the outset, the uniform colouring. In this 
also the mental images are copied, and not the 
actual originals. Every one will be convinced 
after examination that an imagination not specially 
schooled to observe colour dispenses spontane- 
ously with all the effects of light and shade, even 
in freshly received impressions of colour, and 
establishes one neutral tone, though the tone 
established may have the least share in the 
colouring of the original or may be quite lack- 
ing there. Whether, or to what degree, the 
memory-picture contains colour as something 
essential cannot be discussed in detail here ; 
certain it is that the greater number of 
generic memory-pictures are undetermined in 
colour. To determine their colour requires 
a special purpose, and since the original con- 
ception has no material for it, it follows 
that technical, decorative, or otherwise arbi- 
trary conditions play here as great a part 
as a deliberate recourse to the revival of 
reality in the memory. Thus we understand 
why archaic colouring is often independent 


of nature and bizarre (31), and also why the 
outline continues in its integrity even when the 
interior is coloured, since this colouring, as a p a ge 5. 
secondary addition, was subordinate to the 

But is not the whole of this proposition over- 
thrown by precisely the very earliest works of 
drawing that we meet in Greece? Is not 
its very opposite proved by Mycenaean art, 
with its wealth of motives showing unprejudiced 
observation of nature and grasp of momentary 
situations ; with its pronounced tendency to 
describe the environment, and the accessory and 
casual details in which the action is cast ? Does 
not Mycenaean art prove that Greek art set out 
with a direct and unconstrained imitation of 
nature itself, and only afterwards shrank to 
abstractions and typical conventionalities ? 

I think not. The description just given of 
Mycenaean art does not apply to all Mycenaean 
art, which, after all, however incompletely it may 

(31) Cf. the examples of polychrome sculpture cited by 
Lechat in the Bull. Corr. Hell., xiv, 1890, pp. 552 sqq., 570. 
These instances are the more instructive in that they do not 
belong to ceramic pottery with its limited palette, practically 
the only kind of painting we have to refer to. 


Fi s- 7- still be known to us, conforms incontestably in 
the main to the principles which we have 
laid down. It applies only, and in a very 
limited degree, to a small group of works, 
as in particular to the Vaphio cups, the dagger- 
blades, and the vase fragment with the siege 
of a city (32) ; and who shall answer for the 
primitiveness of these ? Why should we not 
regard them rather as the most advanced pro- 
ducts of a long continued artistic activity the 
intermediate steps in which may still fail us 
here and there (33)? If the " Mycenaean" and 
later Hellenic art belonged to people of the same 
race, which I do not think is yet proved, then 
they are different boughs of the same tree grown 
at different times and in different directions, and 
are not to be brought together into one line 
of artistic development (34). 

(32) The Cups, Collignon, i, Figs. 24, 25 ; Perrot et 
Chipiez, vi, Figs. 369 sq., pi. 15; Ephemeris, 1889, pi. 9; 
Bull. Corr. Hell., xv, 1891, pi. n sqq. Dagger, Collignon, 
i, Fig. 9; Perrot et Chipiez, pi. 17, i ; Ath. Mitt., vii, 1882, 
pi. 8. Vase, Perrot et Chipiez, Fig. 365 ; Ephemeris, 1891, 
pi. 2, 2. 

(33) I have not yet seen any attempt at a history of art 
within the Mycenaean period, ceramics excepted. 

(34) So too in the history of Greek art in the narrower 


FIG. 7. 
Figures of men and animals in different movements, on Mycenrean gems. Athens. 


With the same reserve must we regard the 
well-known drawings by cave-dwellers of the 
quaternary epoch (35). Historically discon- 
nected as they present themselves to us, they 
give us no absolute evidence of being most 
primitive works of art. Examine the much 
vaunted naturalism of these drawings and those 
of certain uncivilised peoples of to-day (36) with 
which they are often readily compared (37). 

sense there will have to be a separate consideration of the 
Eastern Greek. Reisch has remarked (Verhandlungen der 
xlii. Versammlung deutscher Philologen, 1893, p. II2 > note 2 )> 
and so Furtwangler (Gemmen, iii, p. 14), and Bohlau (Ath. 
Mitt., xxv, 1900, pp. 83 s<?.), that the Mycenaean temperament 
apparently broke out afresh in the quicker feeling for nature 
of the Greeks of Asia Minor. I call to mind creations such 
as the Busiris vase, Monumenti, viii, 1865, pi. 16 sg.; 
K. Masner, Vasen und Terracotten in k. k. osterreich. 
Museum, No. 217; Furtwangler und Reichhold, Griechische 
Vasenmalerei, pi. 51 (where Furtwangler, p. 259, makes the 
same observation). 

(35) A rich though somewhat antiquated bibliography : S. 
Reinach, Antiquites nationales, i, pp. 149 sqq., 168 sqq. ; cf. 
Hoernes, Urgeschichte, pp. 38 sqq. 

(36) For the literature (equally behindhand), R. Andree, 
Ethnographische Parallelen und Vergleiche, Neue Folge, pp. 
56 sqq. 

(37) Cf. Reinach, Antiquites nationales, p. 170, with 
note 3 ; lately especially Grosse, Anfange d. Kunst, pp. 
156 sqq., 190 sq. 


If naturalism consisted in the masterly compre- 
hension of the details of form and its vital 
functions, then the Parthenon sculptures would 
be one of the summits of naturalistic art. 
Figs. 8-9 But if we look in these drawings for individu- 
' ality of motive (38), for more than rudimentary 
notions of perspective, for foreshortening, cross- 
ing, and overlapping of various parts, and a con- 
ception of space and environment (39), then, so 
far as I have been able to survey the rather 
wide field, they are governed throughout by the 
principles which we enumerated at the begin- 

(38) Fraas (Zeitschrift fur Ethnologic, x, 1878, pp. 241 sqq.) 
justly observes that in the reindeer drawings there is 
a common treatment and manner, that is to say, a fixed 
style. Similarly A. Bertrand, in Archeologie celtique et 
gauloise, ii, pp. 85 sq. The same observation would be often 
applicable to the art of uncivilised peoples (see the well known 
Bushman-picture reproduced by Andree, pi. 3 ; Grosse, pi. 
3 ; and compare it with Fritsch, Die Eingeborenen Siid- 
Afrikas, p. 426). 

(39) I know nothing further about the foreshortenings in 
Bushman -drawings mentioned by M. Hutchinson (Journal 
of the Anthropological Institute, xii, 1883, pp. 464 sq.). 
The reductions in perspective spoken of by Biittner, Zeit- 
schrift fur Ethnologic, x, 1878, p. (16), are perhaps differ- 
ences of size of the same sort as in the picture reproduced 
by Weitzecker (Bollettino della Societa Geografica Italiana, 
Serie III, 1890, pp. 334 sqq.). There is, however, no 
reason to deny development to Bushman-art. 

FIGS. 8-9. 

Reindeers. Painting on the North wall of the grotto of Font-de-Gaunie. 

Reindeer and salmon. 
Incised drawing on a horn. Lorthet. 


ning (40), and all the often surprising observa- 
tions of nature in the details are subordinated to 
a strictly mental conception, and grafted into the 
already existing spontaneous memory-pictures. 

On the other hand, where we are able to 
follow up an entire development of art, there 
we find that its morphological progress is 
from the psychical image to the physical, 
i.e. to the image on the retina, the objectively 
received patch of nature with all its inci- 
dental and accessory detail. We should not 
be led away from this principle by temporary 
retrogressions and collateral tendencies. The 
goal of this development can indeed in reality 
never be reached, for, having reached it, art 
would itself be brought to a finish. 

(40) From the existing reproductions (Cartailhac-Breuil, 
L'Anthropologie, xv, 1904, pp. 625 sqq., pp. 634 sqq.' y 
Alcalde del Rio, Las pinturas y grabados de las cavernas 
prehistdricas de la provincia de Santander, pi. ii), I cannot 
regard the variation in the tone of colour of the animal- 
pictures, discovered in the Altamira grotto, as shaded 



THE theory developed in the preceding chapter 
applies at once to relief, i.e. low relief, as it 
is always understood here. The close con- 
nection between antique relief and drawing 
(1) is now generally acknowledged, so that 
we a^e accustomed to contrast drawing and 
low relief as one form of art with sculpture in 
the round, that is to say, statuary, and high 
relief (2) as another. 

The substantial similarity to drawing of the 
most common class of reliefs, the low relief 
in stone, has been genetically explained by 
its direct derivation from drawing. In point 
of fact, every antique stone relief starts from 

(1) Conze, Das Relief bei den Griechen, Ak. Berlin, 
1882, pp. 574 sqq. ; Lange, p. xxiii ; cf. Erman, Agypten, 

ii, PP- 530 sq. 

(2) For the latter, cf. Koepp, Deutsches Jahrbuch, 
ii, 1887, PP- "8 sqq.\ Lange, p. 93. 



a drawing thrown upon the even surface of 
the slab or block (3), and for a long time 
colouring is as common in reliefs as in drawing. 
But this explains the origin of only one kind of 
relief. Along with the relief in stone, and per- 
haps before it, there were other kinds of half- 
raised work, such as repousse metal or moulded 
clay; jand, in view of their purpose (the mechani- 
cal production of elevated forms), we may add 
the incised representations of gems, dies for 
coins, and so forth. 

Thus we see art arriving at relief in very 
different ways. At its simplest, in very old 
specimens, it presents itself in one uniform 
plane as a silhouette sharply circumscribed 
and detached from the background. If we 
may see in this the earliest form of relief, 
not forgetting cases also where in the finished 
work one finds the inverse relation between 
figure and field (bas-relief en creux), it would 
follow that the first impulse of the artist in 
making a relief was the special accentuation of 
one of the determining elements of the primitive 

(3) R. Schone, Griechische Reliefs, p. 22 ; Conze, 
PP- S^S, 574- 


conception, the contrast, namely, between the 
Page 13. silhouette and the neutral background (4). 

However, there is always some danger in 
reconstructing origins. Therefore we shall hold 
in mind only those phases of Greek archaic relief 
that can be reviewed with certainty, kindred 
phenomena in the art of other peoples being 
here, as everywhere in this essay, tacitly in- 
cluded. To the properties of drawing al- 
ready set forth, relief adds the elevation of 
the picture. One would think that art, when 
once in the possession of such means, must 
have employed it directly for giving expres- 
sion to a plastic notion of form corresponding 
to nature. Let us see how far the supposition 
is confirmed by the facts. 

(4) The actual result is that the contours are strengthened, 
but this strengthening, even when deliberately continued, 
corresponds only to what was said on p. 13. In the relief 
cited by Conze, ibid., pp. 568 sq. t pi. 9; Attische Grab- 
reliefs, i, No. 240, pi. 60, I would attribute the broader 
handling of the chisel in certain passages merely to natural 
difficulties in following the ups and downs of the contour. 
Where in stone (bone, wood) a contrasting colouring of 
ground and figure served the purpose in question, the sinking 
of the one portion was at the outset only a subsidiary means, 
although now in the examples preserved it seems to us 
almost always to be the principal means, the colour having 

FIG. 10. 

Horse and rider on grave relief from Lamptrae. Athens. 
From Brunn-Bruckmann, Denkmciler griech. -and rom. Sculptur, pi. 65. 


Starting again with relief in stone let us take as 
an instance the very early work from Lamptrae 
(Fig. 10). The two horses must be imagined as 
one behind the other, but in the relief they are 
merely distinguished by doubling the line of 
contour. The artist did not feel any need to 
express the relative positions which they occupy 
in nature by a difference of planes. But here 
perhaps was an incipient art of relief as yet 
quite ignorant of its powers. In technique the 
diskophoros from the Themistoclean Wall (Fig. 
1 1) certainly shows a great development. Yet in 
the discus the feeling for unity of plane is so far 
wanting that the part of it to the left of the head 
is considerably deeper than that on the right. 
The head is modelled ; that is to say, it seems to 
take account of the planes of nature : yet if we 
regard the modelling as an abbreviation of 
sculpture in the round, the ear comes too far 
from the profile, whereas it is not too far if 
the head be regarded as a drawing (5). The 
Aristion of the well-known stele (6) treads on 

(5) The divergent statement of L. Curtius, Ath. Mitt., 
xxx, 1905, p. 385, is based upon a different notion of the 
word " plastic ". 

(6) Collignon, i, Fig. 201 ; P. and C., viii, Fig. 72 ; Brunn- 


his own foot, so little are the planes of the two legs 
diversified, and part of the breast is in higher relief 
than the arm hanging down over it. A similar 
lack of plastic conception in the Pharsalian stele 
representing two girls (7) has been claimed by 
Brunn as a peculiarity of Northern Greek art. 
It is, however, characteristic of early Greek 
relief generally, and the errors pointed out 
by Brunn cease to be such if one thinks of the 
forms of this relief as merely drawn in outline. 
Certain it is that over against such examples are 
found numerous others in which the indifference 
to nature in the arrangement of planes is less 
marked, but we shall find only a few that are 
entirely free from inconsistencies of the kind. 
If we look for the common factor in all these 
peculiarities, it will be found in a certain resist- 
ance to the development of depth, every form 
demanding for itself the utmost share of the 

Bruckmann, Denkmaler, 41 ; Conze, Grabreliefs, i, 2, 
pi. 2, i. 

(7) Collignon, i, Fig. 134; P. and C, viii, Fig. 76; B. B., 
58. Cf. Brunn, Ak. Miinchen, 1876, p. 329; Kleine 
Schriften, ii, pp. 192 sq. Of course I do not mean to say 
that the art of North Greece and its treatment of relief had 
no special characteristics. 

Hero-worship. Relief from Chrysaphn. Berlin. 
From Brunn-Bfuckmann, D enkm filer gi'iech. umi rHin. Scul/>tur. pi. 227. 


foremost plane, and this plane again, i.e. 
(according to common opinion) the original sur- 
face of the block from which the relief made its 
start, tending to preserve the greatest extension. 
Even in parts of the Parthenon frieze (8) a 
quite exceptional heaping up of figures does 
not bring about a variety of planes corre- 
sponding to reality (Fig. 12). There is, indeed, 
a slight difference of planes where parts supposed 
to be behind one another in reality come in contact 
in the relief. Yet the planes further again press 
to the front, and the entire depth of the relief 
in such places is not greater than where the 
figures are in juxtaposition, as in the West 

There are, it is true, some reliefs in which 
a methodical gradation of planes undoubtedly 
proves the artist to have been aware of the facts 
of nature, viz., the two big hero reliefs from 
Chrysapha (Fig. 13) and Sparta, also a later 
relief of the same kind and provenience, 
one in I nee Blundell Hall, and the Albani 

(8) Especially so on the N. and S. friezes; for example, 
Michaelis, pi. 10, Figs. 8 sq. t 15, 24 sq., 28, 30 sq., 35 sq.; 
pi. 12, slab xviii; B. B., in sq. t 114. W. frieze, Michaelis, 
pi. 9. 


" Leukothea " (9). But not only are these 
works quite singular, however early the first two 
may be (10), but the severe arrangement of 
planes in so many distinct layers (which, more- 
over, in the last-named reliefs is appreciably 
moderated by reason of that aversion to depth 
referred to above) shows, in its very exaggeration 
of reality, that its source is mental abstraction, 
not direct imitation of nature. 

To give the impression of the round, there must 
further be movement of the surfaces in them- 
selves. Here again similar things are notice- 
able. Besides the silhouettes with even surface 
and sharply-cut contour, we find indeed quite 
early a rounded chamfering of the edges, 
which, beginning apparently with the outer 
contours of the silhouette, as on the Spartan 
pillar (Fig. 14) (11), is in further development 

(9) The second greater hero relief, Ath. Mitt., ii, 1877, 
pi. 22. The later, P. and C, viii, Fig. 74 ; B. B., 227^ ; Ath. 
Mitt, ii, 1877, pi. 24. Ince, Arch. Zeitung, xxxii, 1874, 
pi. 5. Leukothea, Collignon, i, Fig. 141 ; P. and C., viii, 
Fig. 75; B. B., 228. 

(10) Cf. Milchhofer, Ath. Mitt, ii, 1877, pp. 451 sq. 

(11) Other examples: Collignon, i, Fig. 87; P. and C., 
viii, Fig. 152 ; B. B., 23 la (the Samothracian relief) ; P. and C., 
viii, Fig. 156 ; Bull. Corr. Hell., xxiv, 1900, pi. 16 (Thasos); 

FIG. 14. 

Base of a stele. Sparta. 
Front BruttH-Bruckmann, Denktnaler griech. vnd rom. Sculpting pi. 226. 


employed also upon the contours inside the 
silhouette. The modelling of a great portion of 
archaic reliefs can be traced in the main to this 
mode of procedure, which varies only according 
to the number and kind of contours thus treated ; 
as examples take the Harpy monument, the 
Thasian relief of the Nymphs, and the Giustini- 
ani stele now in Berlin (12). At the same time 
there is only a modest attempt towards emancipa- 
tion from a leading contour by a movement of 
planes varying in height and depth (13). 
Throughout the archaic period art does not 
advance very far in this direction (14). On the 

Annual of the British School at Athens, v, 1898-99, pi. 9 

(12) Harpy monument: Collignon, i, Figs. 129-32; P. 
and C., viii, Figs. 145-48; B. B., 146 sq. Nymphs relief: 
Collignon, i, Figs. 138-40; P. and C., viii, Figs. 153-55; 
B. B., 6 1 ; cp. Osterr. Jahreshefte, vi, 1903, pp. 159 sqq. 
Giustiniani stele, now in Berlin: B. B., 417^; Antike 
Denkmaler, i, 33, 2. 

(13) The beginning of this tendency can be observed in the 
reliefs, just mentioned ; others better carried out are Lycian 
(for example, Collignon, i, Fig. 133 ; B. B., 102), Attic (Col- 
lignon, i, Fig. 195 ; P. and C., viii, Fig. 334; Nuove Memorie, 
pi. 13, i), etc. Quite at the end of the archaic time the 
Ludovisi Aphrodite reliefs : Bulle, 43 sq.\ Antike Denkmaler, 
ii, 6 sq. ; Petersen, Rom. Mitt., vii, 1892, pi. 2, pp. 54 sq. 

(14) It seems unnecessary to show that the Delphic reliefs 


contrary, whilst the first method in the earliest 
examples sets in with a tolerably high relief (15), 
there follows a later period of standstill and 
even of retrogression. Then relief delights more 
and more in that peculiar style characterised by 
its flattened planes with contours often sharply 
cut. The fine sense of line shown in the con- 
tours, and the light and delicate touch in the 
play of surfaces e.g., among the many instances, 
the steles of Aristion and Alxenor (Fig. 44), the 
youth from Pella (Fig. 16), and many parts of 
the Parthenon frieze (16) suggest that the 
artist purposely avoided approaching nature 
by a really plastic treatment of planes. Nay, 
this set purpose cannot be doubted. For, to 
pass over the above-mentioned Lakonian hero 
reliefs (Fig. 13), in works like the stele of Philis 
(Fig. 15), the artist has put in a good deal of 

do not contradict this (Fouilles de Delphes, iv, Sculpture, 
pis. 3 sq. t 7 sqq.\ P. and C, viii, Figs. 160 sq. y 163-77; 
227-30; cf. Furtwangler, Berl. Phil. Wochenschrift, 1894, 
col. 1277). 

(15) Cf. Fig. 14; the Samothracian relief: Collignon, i, 
Fig. 87; P. and C, viii, Fig. 152; B. B., 2310, and 

(16) Aristion, p. 37, note 6 ; Parthenon, p. 39, 
note 8. 

FIG. 15. 
Grave-relief of a woman (Philis), from Thasos. Paris. 

FIG. 16. 
Warrior, Grave-stele from Pella. Constantinople. 


modelling on the foreshortened sides of the face, 
breast, and left hand, whilst on the chief surfaces, 
viz., those facing the spectator, he has gone so 
far in the suppression of movement as to give in 
places a polished smoothness, and delicately to 
pick out the detail by incised design. 

Thus relief is ever resisting the invasion of 
modelling conformable to nature. At first sight 
this resistance seems naturally explained by the 
facts mentioned above : as relief started from a Page 34 
drawing sketched upon the surface of the stone, 
it means to depart from this drawing as little as 
may be (17), and its further development re- 
mains possessed by the principles of drawing. 
But as there are other sorts of low relief, we 
ought not to generalise straightway from what 
we have observed in stone reliefs only. These 
other sorts I have not been able to examine 
very thoroughly (18), but even an imperfect sur- 

(17) Conze, Das Relief bei den Griechen, Akad. Berlin, 
1882, p. 573. 

(18) To give only a few examples. Reliefs in terracotta : 
A. Salzmann, Necropole de Camiros, pi. 26 ; Milchhofer, 
Anfange, Fig. 48; Berichte der sachs. Gesellschaft, 1848, 
p. 123. The Melian terracottas, e.g., British Museum, pi. 19, 
B 3 6 3> 3 6 7; pl- 20, B 3 66 > 37 2 , 375- Bronze reliefs: 
Collignon, i, Figs. 45, 108 ; Olympia, iv, 696, 717, pis. 38, 40. 


vey shows that in all essentials the phenomena 
seen in stone relief appear in them too ; and 
(since relief in bronze or clay is certainly not so 
dependent upon drawing as in stone relief) the 
doubt arises whether the explanation mentioned 
is quite accurate. However, one could argue 
that these other kinds of relief also do to a 
certain extent start from an original sketch, and 
so regard their similarity to stone relief as a 
further confirmation of the close relationship 
between low relief and drawing and of their 
separation from sculpture in the round. 

We shall see later whether this opinion can 
be maintained. 

Coins: Gardner, Types, pi. i, 10 sq. ; 3, 13 ; Head, Guide, 
pis. 4, 2-5, 7; 7, 8, 12; 8, 14 sq., 17, and so on. For 
gems it is enough to look through vol. i of Furtwangler's 



FROM another point of view, that of composition, 
relief and sculpture in the round are in obvious 
opposition. Drawing and low relief, though 
attached to the profile view (1), as has often 
been observed, soon become relatively free in 
the movement of figures (2), whilst statuary in 
its principal task, the representation of the human 
form, is for a long time bound by the law of 
" Frontality " which Julius Lange laid down for 
the primitive sculpture of all peoples (3). 

Is this opposition compatible with the ex- 

(1) Cf. Perrot, i, p. 742 (also the author's Lysipp, 
pp. 1 6 sg.). 

(2) Cf. Lange, p. xx. 

(3) Lange, p. xi. The law may be thus formulated : an 
imaginary plane taken through the top of the head, nose, back- 
bone and breast-bone, navel and crotch, so as to divide the 
body into two symmetrical halves, remains always unchanged, 
without bending or turning in any direction. Cf. the author's 
Lysipp, pp. 1 7 sqq. 



planation which we are following ? That expla- 
nation is in no way determined by external, 
and consequently not by technical conditions ; 
if correct, it must be applicable to sculpture in 
the round as well. 

Now, it cannot in any way be proved that draw- 
ing or low relief necessarily demands the profile 
view. With animal forms, such as quadrupeds, 
the profile is adopted in accordance with the 
Page 12 principles evolved above. The same holds good 
sqq ' in the human form with regard to the legs (4) ; 
and when, inversely, the front view of the trunk 
is more consistent with those principles, we 
find it often enough retained in primitive art 
(in the Egyptian, for instance) (5), even when 
all the rest of the figure is in profile. Finally, 
of the head. Here neither the side view nor 
front view was a priori postulated in the sense 
that the spontaneous memory pictures of all 
its single parts would concur quite harmoni- 
ously in one or the other view ; a com- 
promise would have to be made in every case ; 
and, even in drawing, this compromise did not 

(4) For the foot cf. p. 21, note 23. 

(5) Cf. Lange's observations, p. xxiv. 


always favour the profile, as is proved by the 
Gorgoneion of the Greeks, as well as by the 
works of several primitive peoples (6). But 
the head of all parts of the body is the most 
expressive of one man's relation to another : 
we imagine it in full face or in profile, according 
as we think of a person in relation to ourselves 
or to another. We might, then, ask why in 
primitive drawing and relief the profile of the 
human head predominates. One reason may 
well be that the prevailing theme of such art is 
the representation of several figures grouped 
together in some common action, and thus 
turned towards one another. Another reason 
is, certainly, that though in the drawing of the 
face in the front view the aspect of all the other 
features would be satisfactory, they being seen 
in the greatest expansion that of the nose 
would be unsatisfactory, for its most expanded 
view is in profile. But a nose in profile drawn 
in a v full face is one of those inconsistencies 
with reality which the primitive mind must 
have noticed almost immediately. In the profile 

(6) Examples: Von den Steinen, Zent.-Brasil., pis. 16 sqq., 
p. 253 ; Grosse, Anfange der Kunst, pp. 159, 161, 170. 


view of the whole head this inconsistency is 

In sculpture in the round, the earliest repre- 
sentations of men were images of gods, statues for 
graves, or for offerings which were usually set up 
in direct relation to the spectator, whence followed 
the full -fronted position. When, however, a 
relation to others is to be supposed (figures in 
an attacking posture, for instance), then archaic 
sculpture too employs the side view (7). How 
obstinately the habit of seeing images of gods in 
full view sometimes dominated the artist's idea 
of the deity himself is expressively illustrated by 
pictures and reliefs, where even though the 
thrones and bodies of the gods may face the 
worshippers in the picture, the gods' faces look 
towards you. In the Spartan hero - reliefs 
(Fig. 13) (8) one could explain this by sup- 

(7) Compare the Zeus in Fig. 26, and Olympia, iv, 43 
sq., pis. 7 sq. t pp. 18 sq. ; P. and C, viii, Fig. 349, and Fig. 
239. Warrior from Dodona : Collignon, i, Fig. 166; Bulle, 
27; Arch. Zeit., xl, 1882, pi. i. Athena: Collignon, i, 
Fig. 177 ; P. and C., viii, Fig. 308; Ephemeris, 1887, pi- 7- 

(8) Cf. page 40, note 9. In the later relief of 
the same composition the contrast is felt and avoided. I 
will not contend that technical reasons do not play a part 
here ; but the phenomenon came about in spite of them. 
Cf. also the relief in Bull. Corr., xiii, 1889, pi. 14. 

Worship of the goddess Istar. Babylonian cylinders. (Fig. 18 Paris.) 


posing that the relief itself was the actual object 
of worship ; but similar figures on Babylonian 
cylinders (Figs. 17-18) invalidate the explanation. 
But in sculpture in the round the law of 
" Frontality " (9) finds its limit just where it 
would come in conflict with the principles which 
we propose. Lange himself excludes certain 
cases, all of which (animals, figures lying down 
or attacking) (10) are covered by our theory. 
In an upright human figure turned to the 
front the combination of head and body in full 
view with the legs in profile would correspond 
to the purely mental conception, but it is so 
obviously unnatural and unsteady that it would 
not be a matter for wonder if, long before our 
earliest examples, the discrepancy had been 
avoided by the subordination of the legs to the 
rest : and yet instances of even this combination 
do occur in standing or striding figures (11). 

(9) For what follows I can refer to Bulle (B. ph. W., 
1900, col. 1038 sqq.), whose criticism of the theory of 
frontality partly coincides with the above principles. 

(10) Lange, p. 62 sq. Motives of attacking: above, 
p. 48, note 7. 

(11) Compare, besides high reliefs such as the Selinuntian 
Metopes (Collignon, i, Figs. 118 sq. ; P. and C., viii, Figs. 
246 sq.] B. B., 286), the bronzes, Monumenti Lincei, vii, 


Far more tenaciously does the profile view of 
legs in motion stick to the imagination ; run- 
ning legs especially are spontaneously thought of 
as in profile only. And when the sense of legs 
in motion combines in one and the same con- 
ception with the not less firmly rooted sense 
of relation to the spectator, we have such 
dissonances as the well-known Delian Nike 
(Fig. 19), or the Gorgon of the Selinuntian 
Metope (12). These examples are perfectly good 

1897, col. 351 sqq., pi. 9, i ; P. and C., viii, Fig. 345; De 
Ridder, 760, pi. 5; Reinach, Repertoire, ii, 518 sq. The 
Athena of the .^Eginetan West pediment may be included 
(Collignon, i, Fig. 143; Bulle, 32; B. B., 23). If we may 
here ascribe the phenomenon to the constraint of space, 
this constraint (which, by the way, is in no wise proven) has 
not invented anything, but has at best preserved what already 
existed. Another solution: De Ridder, 706-10, 712 sq., 
725 sqq., etc. (cf. also Collignon, i, Fig. 5; P. and C., vi, 

33 2 )- 

(12) Gorgon : Collignon, i, Fig. 118 ; P. and C., viii, Fig. 
246; B. B., 286 b. Delian Nike restored: Studniczka, Die 
Siegesgottin, Neue Jahrbiicher, i, 1898, pi. 2, 7. Others: 
Collignon, i, Fig. 70 ; De Ridder, 800 sqq. ; P. and C., viii, 
Fig. 126; Reinach, Repertoire, ii, 389 sqq. For us, who 
are used to a naturalistic manner of observation, these figures 
seem to fly past whilst looking at us. The problem is not 
quite solved even in the Nike on the hand of the Parthenos 
(Collignon, i, Fig. 273; B. B., 39 sq.\ Neue Jahrb., pi. 4, 
24 sq.), which in every respect takes an intermediate position. 

FIG. 19. 
Winged goddess (Nike), from Delos. Athens. 


proof that sculpture in the round depends as much 
upon the mental picture as do drawing and low 
relief, although apparently drawing and low relief 
preceded them with the same combination (13). 

In other instances the solution follows easily 
enough, as when in the primitive mind the figure 
of the rider readily assumes the side view in 
adapting itself to the side view required for the 

It avoids the contrast of direction between the upper and 
lower portions of the body, without, however, abandoning the 
profile aspect of the legs to show the movement. Paionios 
was the first to harmonise movement and relation to the 
spectator; his Nike (Collignon, i, Fig. 239; Bulle, 104; 
B. B., 444 sq. ; Neue Jahrb., pi. 5, 28-31) comes flying 
towards us. 

(13) I cannot think that archaic art borrowed its well- 
known running and flying motive from the striding jump (S. 
Reinach, Rev. Arch., third series, ix, 1887, pp. 106 sq. ; Stud- 
niczka, Nike, pp. 381 sq.). How could it come into the mind 
of the artist to substitute for running such a completely 
different movement? We must maintain that the motive 
signifies running until it can be proved that it was originally 
employed for flying, in which case the interchange would be 
a little more intelligible, though not entirely so. (Cf. Kalk- 
mann, Deutsch. Jahrb., x, 1895, pp. 56 sqq.) The chance 
resemblance to moments of jumping (Exner, Physiologic 
des Fliegens, pp. 3 1 sqq., Reinach) can prove nothing for the 
above derivation, even though photography need not have 
been necessary in order to catch the moment, as Reinach 
thinks. I consider the scheme to be a purely mental con- 
struction of the kind noticed on page 17. 


horse. Conversely, if we may admit that when 
a group comprising a quadriga or biga was set 
up, the team was as a rule exhibited in full front 
(14), then in the memory-pictures drawn from 
such works there may lie, perhaps, an explanation 
of the surprisingly early occurrence of chariots 
seen from the front, not only in high relief, but 
in low relief and drawing (15). It should, how- 
ever, be said that we occasionally see fairly 
advanced draughtsmanship still labouring to con- 
struct such chariots from spontaneous memory- 
pictures (Fig. 20) (16). 

But the peculiar domain of statuary is the 
rendering of the round in the round. 

(14) Cf. Homolle, 1'Aurige de Delphes, Mon. Plot, iv, 

1897, p. 175- 

(15) High Relief: Collignon, i, Fig. 117 ; P. and C., viii, 
Fig. 245 ; B. B., 2870; Winter, Deutsch. Jahrb., viii, 1893, 
pp. 136 sq.) Nos. 1-6. Drawing, etc. : see Delbriick, Beitrage, 
p. 22 (the gem, ibid.^ pp. 18 sq. ; Furtwangler, Gemmen, 
pi. 4, 46, admits also another opinion); Olympia, iv, 706, 
pi. 39 ; J. H. S., xiii, 1892-93, pi. 8; Kekule, Terr. Sicil., 
pi. 54, i, and others. Representations of horsemen in 
full front (e.g., Ant. Denkm., ii, 19) may have been in- 
fluenced by this circumstance, or even by statues of riders, 
if Winter be right in his theory of how they were set up 
(Winter, p. 155 sq. t but cp. also p. 139, No. 9). 

(16) Cf. further J. H. S., xix, 1899, pi. 9, pp. 267 sq.', 
Loeschcke, Bonner Studien, p. 254. 

FIG. 20. 
Selene (the moon) diving into the ocean. Vase drawing. Berlin. 


The forms to be represented by statuary, in 
consequence of the possession of three dimen- 
sions, show more than one view to the spectator : 
they are plurifacial. Can the primitive concep- 
tion figure to itself, at the same time, more than 
one view ? Can it include the plurifacial in one 
act ? To a certain extent we can trick out the 
mental images with elements not at one and 
the same time visible, though they will remain 
vague and ambiguous ; but we cannot imagine 
simultaneously various images, and the various 
views of one object are really various images. 
The sculptor, when conceiving a statue, pictures 
it in his mind in one aspect only, just as would 
a draughtsman or a painter. To obtain pluri- 
faciality, he must by special acts of the imagina- 
tion supply those views which were not in- 
cluded in the original conception. The com- 
plete conception is thus strictly a secondary 
one, the primary imagination excluding pluri- 

This enables us to understand a class of very 
archaic figures (17), which we cannot suppose 

(17) Examples. In terracotta : Collignon, i, Figs. 52 sq. 
(cf. Figs. 54 sq.) j Deutsch. Jahrb., iii, 1888, pp. 343^., 


to have been fixed to a ground (appliques) (18), 
though in spite of that they very obviously 
lack depth. To this class belong, not only 
little figures of men and animals cut out of, 
or otherwise modelled in, metal, stone, or 
clay, but also big statues, as the votive figure 
of Nikandre (Figs. 21-23). This undoubtedly is 
a class of sculpture in the round, which is content 

Fig. 26 (cf. Figs. 27 sq.) ; Mon. Piot, i, 1894, p. 32; 
Winter, Die Typen der figiirlichen Terracotten, i, pp. 8, 4 ; 
9, 1-3, etc. ; Terracottas in British Museum, pi. xvi, 
B 57 sq. (the " Pappades "). Bronze: De Ridder, 691-93; 
Olympia, iv, 232 sq., pi. 15 (men); De Ridder, 490, 492 ; 
Olympia, iv, 731-33, pi. 41 (animals). This formation is 
especially familiar in Etruscan art; see Martha, pp. 502 sq. 
In pre-Hellenic art compare the leaden idol, Collignon, 
i, Fig. 3 ; P. and C., vi, Fig. 295, and the numerous " Island- 
idols " (Collignon, i, Figs. 2, 5 ; P. and C., vi, Figs. 325 sqq. ; 
Winter, i, p. 10). Some of the above, through the want of 
single parts of the body, show an absolutely primitive stage 
of conception (p. 19), such as the earliest draughtsmanship 
of which we have record had long left behind. 

(18) These works, as they stand, would certainly not differ 
in many cases, so far as technique is concerned, from those 
made to be affixed (cf. on the one hand the leaden figures 
from the Menelaion described by Tsountas, Praktika, 1900, 
p. 80, 2, and on the other hand those that Furtwangler cites, 
Olympia, iv, p. 108, Nos. 731 onwards). These last could 
be denned as reliefs on a separate ground ; between them and 
relief proper come forms such as the Olympian bronze plate 
(Collignon, i, Fig. 108; Olympia, iv, 717, pi. 40). 

FIG. 21. 

Female figure. Votive offering of Nikandre, 
from Delos. Athens. 

FIGS. 22-23. 

22. 23. 

Back and side view of the votive figure of Nikandre (cf. Fig. 21). 


with giving only one view. Whatever mass gives 
depth to it is there because other reasons prac- 
tical use, for instance required the work to 
be substantial, or even only because the material 
and means suggested such procedure : artisti- 
cally the sides and back are meaningless. Even 
where the artist has enriched them with detail 
and rounded off the transitions from the front 
to the sides, this is no sufficient indication that 
the statue was intended for more views than 
one. A sight of the sides, so far from pro- 
ducing the illusion of a real figure, would rather 
have diminished it. And if the sides were not 
meant to be seen, neither was the back (19). 
That the back exists at all is but the material 
consequence of the cutting out of the contour 
of the front view ; like the sides, it owes the 
working of its surface only to the well-known 
" horror vacui." The rounding off of the transi- 
tions is certainly an important step towards the 
rendering of bodily form, since it introduces the 
movement of planes, of which we shall speak 
later. But so far it does not remove it only 

(19) In the Nikandre figure the back (Fig. 22) is partly 


subserves the unifacial aspect in which the 
conception of such figures is exhausted. 

Even a depth corresponding to nature does not 
exclude unifaciality. In the head of a goddess 
from the Olympian Herseum, for instance, the 
depth is sufficiently developed (Figs. 24-25), but 
that the sculptor nevertheless had in mind only 
the front view is shown by the inorganic frontal 
attachment of the ear, done according to mental 
abstraction. And though the space-filling details, 
as we might call them, in the diadem and hair 
are continued on the sides, the artist has, never- 
theless, expended all his efforts to render the form 
of the face upon the front view, and the sides serve 
merely to furnish mass. 

Unifaciality is not necessarily incompatible even 
with all-round modelling and correct depth. 
Figures like the well-known Zeus throwing the 
thunderbolt (Figs. 26 ; 33), and even to a high de- 
gree the Tyrannicides (20), require to be seen in 
only one aspect wherein all essential features will 
be found united ; in any other view, either some of 
the essential features are out of sight, or the 
silhouette shrinks together, and thereby loses its 

(20) Collignon, i, Fig. 189 ; Bulle, 49 sq. ; B. B., 326 sq. 

FIG. 24. 

Head of a goddess (Hera). 
From the Temple of Hera at Olympia. 

FIG. 25. 
Profile view of Fig. 24. 

FIG. 26. 

Zeus throwing the thunderbolt. Bronze 

statuette (n cm., reduced). Olympia. 

Cf. fig- 33- 


clearness. The other sides, then, although they 
were completed, have no part in the original con- 
ception. Thus these works, morphologically, still 
represent, in a certain sense, the most primitive 
type of plastic expression. 

The Apollo of Tenea is done in the round, in Page 53. 
the sense that it is plurifacial (21). But here, too, 
the number of aspects is limited as compared with 
nature. The figure, as has been frequently re- 
marked, is composed of four views, front and back 
and the two sides, which are set up at right angles 
to one another, with a greater or lesser degree of 
rounding off where they meet, the whole thereby 
acquiring the appearance of excessive depth. 
The Apollo of Tenea is, of course, no first 
essay, but the sum of artistic work of genera- 
tions ; yet it still clearly illustrates what has been 
said regarding the development of the figure in 

(21) Collignon, i, Fig. 96 ; P. and C., viii, Figs. 187 sq.; 
Bulle, 23; B. B., i. The present argument is in no 
wise affected by the fact that the type, like others (cf. 
the iorso from Eleutherna, referred to in the following 
note), had been already given by Egyptian art. The Greek 
artist approached these originals of a foreign art exactly as 
he approached nature, i.e. he worked from them by a process 
of memory, and assimilated them only within the limits of 
his power of conception. 


the round from the two-dimensional image by 
adding other views or facets to the original one 

Page 53. (22). Each view came independent and entire 
into the artist's mind, and presents itself now in- 
dependent and entire in the completed work. 
We have already accounted for the rounding of 

Page 55 the edges (which is in the Apollo more developed 
on the front side) when speaking of plastic 
figures intended for one view only. In order to 
explain the choice of just the four aspects in 
question it might be urged that these four, front, 
back, left, right, are those of which we are most 
aware in our own bodies an explanation (be it 
noted) which so far coincides with my theory 
that it implies the artist to have started, not from 
the observation of nature, but from his own con- 
sciousness. But the aspects are also those which 
we note in others, and which are most early and 
most deeply impressed on our memories, ever 

(22) If it should be necessary to show intermediary stages 
of development by which plurality of aspect could be 
acquired by art, there are, on the one hand, the head from 
the Heraeum and the upper part of the Nike of Delos 
(Figs. 24 sq. and 19), and, on the other, the torso of Eleu- 
therna (P. and C., viii, Figs. 208 sq. ; Rendiconti Lincei, vii, 
1891, p. 602 A; Rev. Arch., xxi, 1893, pi. 3 sq.); see also 
p. 59, note 24. 

FIG. 27. 

Back view of the so-called Apollo from 
Tenea. Munich. 


ready to neglect that which is unaccentuated and 
merely intermediate. It may be questioned 
whether the back is rightly included among the 
four views. But it was materially given by the 
existence of the other three sides : from the 
modelled contours of the two contiguous sides, 
at least where they bordered upon it, the back 
had already taken partial form, and the com- 
pletion of the connecting surface followed natur- 
ally (23). And if I am not mistaken, even in the 
Apollo of Tenea it is still observable that in 
interest and execution the sides took precedence 
of the back (Fig. 27). Thus here a representa- 
tion in the round has resulted from a conception 
which was no more than trifacial. For many 
forms, quadrupeds for example, two aspects only 
were sufficient to give it (24). 

The above exposition does not harmonise 

(23) I have sometimes wondered whether the pillar at 
the back of the Egyptian statues might not be the schematis- 
ing of the mass behind originally left unworked. 

(24) Examples are among those cited on p. 53, note 17. 
A division cannot, of course, always be made between a 
unifacial conception that was completed in the execution, 
and an original bifacial one. Moreover, there are not lack- 
ing instances where it is permitted to conjecture that there 
were statues of human figures set up with two aspects ; thus 


with the prevailing doctrine, which attributes 
the facts to constraint imposed by the shape 
of the material, to which pre-existing shape 
artistic thought had been subordinated, and 
maintains that the artistic form thus produced 
in one material coerced the artist's purpose 
even when transferring it into another material. 
I do not dispute all influence of technique upon 
form, nor the influence of one technique upon 
another. But can we imagine that artistic 
energy would thus resign itself to slumber for 
centuries? Is it not illogical to suppose that 
the artist should have worried out of the new 
material the forms dictated by the material first 
chosen despite the different conditions of the 

the Mycenaean "Astarte", especially interesting since the 
same figure exists as a single- viewed relief-applique (p. 54, 
note 18); P. and C, vi, Figs. 293 sq.\ Schuchhardt's 
Schliemann, Figs. 188 sq., and, still in advanced archaism, the 
well-known Athena, Collignon, i, Fig. 197; P. and C, viii, 
Fig. 39 ; B. B -> 8l ; Ephemeris, 1887, pi. 4. Perhaps the 
double view played a still more important role as the first 
step towards plastic treatment. The face of the Eleutherna 
torso, for example (p. 58, note 22), and apparently also the 
bronze, De Ridder, 697, raise the question whether the artist 
was not aiming to achieve the effect of the round by setting 
together the two profiles, and in the figure from Eleutherna 
flattening the forehead. 


new (25) ? And how far, in point of fact, is the 
shape of the working material a fixed one (26) ? 
Mr. E. A. Gardner (27) has already pointed 
out that for wood (28) the four-sided baulk 

(25) The analogy of forms from building, furniture, and 
vases is not pertinent ; for in these cases there is no natural 
prototype to control the artistic form. 

(26) Thiersch (Epochen der Kunst, notes, p. 6, 14) has 
clearly shown that there is no connection between the 
worship of natural objects, meteoric stones, tree trunks, 
poles, columns, etc., and the beginnings of plastic art. 
The like is true, at least for Greek art, as regards fetish 
idols decked out with real clothes, hair, etc. ; the herm, 
which might be considered the descendant of them (Winckel- 
mann, Geschichte der Kunst, Part I, chap, i, 5 sqq.\ is 
explained more satisfactorily by what was said on p. 19 
(cf. also p. 54, note 17, end). Personal ornaments, im- 
plements, and parts of implements are enlivened by giving 
them human or animal shapes (see Reinach, L'Anthro- 
pologie, v, 1894, p. 305), and chance resemblances in 
natural objects are tricked up (Collier, Primer of Art, pp. 
13 sqq. ; Balfour, Decorative Art, pp. 85 sqq.\ These 
processes go on at all times side by side with the direct 
imitative tendency. But theories which regard them 
as the starting points of actual sculpture ought to demon- 
strate the various stages by which they developed into 

(2?) J. H. S., xi, 1890, pp. 132 sqq. Cf. also Winter, 
Deutsch. Jahrb., xiv, 1899, p. 76. 

(28) Clay, as technically indolent, does not come into 
consideration. Furtwangler (Olympia, iv, pp. 38, 42) 
seems to suggest that the flat and sharply outlined forms 
found in metal may be explained by the hammering of metal 


was in no wise the self-evident shape, and as 
much at least can be said of the board shape. On 
the other hand Mr. Gardner has remarked how 
natural it is for stone to be cut into even surfaces. 
But this will not explain the want of depth in the 
Nikandre figure (Figs. 21-23), f r instance. Even 
where the depth of the statue is correct, in order 
to account for the selection of just a parallele- 
piped material we must assume, as Mr. Gardner 
does, that the conception of the human form as 
four-sided already previously existed in the mind 
of the artist. And if so, the constraint of the work- 
ing material does not hold good. For if the artist 
had in mind a conception that corresponded with 
the actual rounding of the human body with the 
correct relation of depth and breadth, he would 
have found no technical difficulty in cutting 
his block of stone into as many sides to suit. 
He knew how to do this when blocking out 
columns. Indeed, we possess sculptured works 
that remind us forcibly of columns, such as the 

plates. This indeed is possible, but what is to explain the 
identical formation we find in clay (see Furtwangler himself, 
p. 43) and stone ? 


Samian Xoanon (29), the votive offering of 
Cheramyes. But it is infinitely significant that 
however such productions are to be explained 
(30), they remain isolated (31) and sterile (32). 

(29) Collignon, i, Fig. 73 ; P. and C, viii, Fig. 79; B. B., 56. 

(30) Brunn (Kunstgesch., ii, pp. 82 sqq.) t as is well 
known, thought that they originated from the tree-trunk ; 
Winter (Deutsch. Jahrb., xiv, 1899, pp. 76 sq.) conjectured 
they were shaped after hollow-cast statues, for which the 
hollow tube suggested what was technically the simplest 
method of forming the figures. I consider the formations 
in question and others analogous (see the following note) to 
be results of an already awakened sense of roundness in single 
cases (as, for instance, the woman's gown), though here also 
the roundness conceived is merely abstract (cf. p. 98, note 39). 

(31) Holleaux (Mon. Piot, i, 1894, pp. 21 sqq.) refers to 
only three bell-shaped Boeotian terracotta figures (Winter, 
Figiirliche Terracotten, i, p. 6, 2-4), over against numerous 
board-shaped "Pappades" (p. 53, note 17). Further rare 
exceptions are found in other round terracotta types of 
high antiquity. So far as they are not anthropomorphic, 
they are explained by note 30. The rounding of the 
Apollo of Orchomenos (P. and C., viii, Fig. 260; B. B., 
770), referred to by Gardner (p. 132), I do not myself see ; 
the rounding of the Apollo of the Pto'ion (Collignon, i, 
Fig. 92; P. and C, viii, Fig. 263; B. B., 12^; Bull. 
Corr. Hell., x, 1886, pi. 4), and, as I may add, of the 
Delian torso (Collignon, i, Fig. 63), appears to me, judging by 
illustrations in both cases, not to lie in the original plan, but 
to result from a more advanced working of the transitions, 
so specially in the Apollo. It is clear that this can give the 
appearance of a structural roundness, especially to the smaller 
surfaces in stone sculpture and much more in terracotta. 

(32) The replica of the Cheramyes figure found on the 


Look farther for a moment beyond the 
field of archaic art. What tectonic constraint 
was there in wax or clay freely modelled (per via 
di porre) for a statue that was to be cast in 
bronze, e.g. for a type like the "Woman in 
Peplos," which, if not invented in cast bronze, 
was at least essentially transformed in that 
material, and thus made independent of the 
stone and wood tradition ? And yet from the 
oldest examples (33) of this type to the two 
Athenas of Pheidias (Fig. 28), and down to the 
Eirene of Kephisodotos (34), the treatment of 
the figures is, contrary to nature, four-sided : that 
is to say, the front and side views of the drapery 
form even planes, unbroken save by the bent 
knee, and meeting one another at right angles 

Acropolis (Collignon, i,Fig. 74; P. and C. , viii, Fig. 120; Ephe- 
meris, 1888, pi. 6) has a pronounced quadrate plan: Lechat, 
Bull. Corr. Hell., xiv, 1890, p. 140. In the Samian example 
itself the rounding extends by no means to all sides and parts. 

(33) Namely, those published by Furtwangler, Ak. 
Miinchen, 1899, pi. i, pp. 571 sqq. ; P. and C, viii, Fig. 225. 
Others: Bull. d. Commiss. Arch., xxv, 1897, pis. 12, 14, 
pp. 169 sqq. 

(34) Athena Parthenos : Collignon, i, Fig. 273; B. B., 
39 sq. Eirene: Collignon, ii, Fig. 86; Bulle, 144; B. B., 
43 (the question of chronology I may discuss elsewhere). 


FIG. 28. 

Statue of Athena, after Pheidias. 
Dresden (the head in Bologna). 

FIG. 29. 
Charioteer. Bronze statue. Delphi. 

FIG. 30. 

Bronze figure of Apollo. 
From the sea near Piombino. Paris. 

Fioin Brunn-Brucktnann, Denkmtiler griech und rom. Sculptur, pi. 78. 


(35), with generally only the corners chamfered. 
That no schematising of the copyist has caused 
this quadrature, is proved, in spite of a somewhat 
different type of dress, by an original work, the 
Charioteer of Delphi (Fig. 29). And so not only 
nude male figures of mature archaic date like the 
Apollo of Piombino (Fig. 30), but still later 
the Doryphoros of Polykleitos, are "quadrate," 
even in horizontal section. If the relation in 
the Doryphoros between depth and breadth is 
nearly correct, yet even there each of the four 
views of the trunk and thighs seems to resist 
that blending with the contiguous sides by which 
they would lose their reciprocal independence. 
Nay, even in the Praxitelean trunk there are 
traces of this resistance, and it is not until 
Lysippos that it is quite overcome (36). 

(35) The same phenomenon is not foreign to high relief: 
cf. the Parthenon Metope, Michaelis, pi. 4, Nord, xxxii. 

(36) Archaic examples will be superfluous (at any rate cf. 
De Ridder, 734, 737 sq., pi. 2, and the Poseidon, Ephemeris, 
1899, pi. 5). Doryphoros (mostly unfavourable) : Collignon, 
i, pi. 12 (cf. Fig. 260); Bulle, 115; B. B., 273. For 
Praxiteles and Lysippos, see pp. 84 s<?., 87 sq., and cf. Furt- 
wangler, Masterpieces, pp. 227, 312; Sellers, Gaz. d. Beaux- 
Arts, xviii, 1897, pp. 136 sq. (It will be easily seen where I 
disagree with these in what I have stated above.) 


The phenomenon discussed is closely accom- 
panied by another. Where a statue has a 
view that is intended to be seen exclusively or 
at least principally (in plurifacial statues this 
Pa ge 53- answers to the primary conception), that view 
remains remarkably flat. Quite primitive uni- 
facial figures often exhibit a perfectly even plane 
upon which, when the arms and so forth lie 
across the body, they are not expressed in relief 
but only by drawing, or, may be, by painting, 
and the plane continues uniform to the edges, 
where it may, or may not, be rounded off (37). 
But even where modelling exists there appears a 
distinct aversion to depth. If a flat board were 
laid against the face of the Olympian Hera 
it would, save for the nose (and how far that 
projected is not known), exactly or very nearly 
touch throughout; this applies also to the 
bodies and other parts of very archaic figures. 
Later, indeed, art employs a more drastic round- 
ing out, and more variation of planes for the 
single parts, but the general scheme of the whole 
figure (of seated figures that of the chief divisions) 
is for a long while confined within two parallel 
(37) Examples among those cited on p, 53, note 17. 


planes, before and behind, through which even 
advanced archaic art hardly ever ventured to 
break with more than the fore-arm or lower leg 
and accompanying part of the thigh. 

With this we have touched a second factor 
in representing the round. The facts just 
mentioned argue that the initial stage of 
statuary was quite flat. If that conclusion 
be true is it conformable to our principles ? 
In other words : according to us, the more 
primitive the art, the more true is the render- 
ing of the mental image ; is then this mental 
image flat in the sense that it takes no account 
of differences of plane? or, since there cer- 
tainly does exist in primitive art a rendering 
of form which is purely linear, is the un- 
tutored imagination susceptible of two kinds of 
spontaneous images, the flat and the solid, one 
that suggests drawing, the other sculpture ? 

Many, perhaps, consulting their own feelings, 
would at least incline to the latter alternative. 
We can all easily summon to our minds any 
images we like, modelled with light and shade. 
And yet it would be wrong to mistake such 
deliberate memory-pictures formed in imagina- 


tions already much influenced by works of art 
for images independent and spontaneous. These 
latter do not preserve one individual and con- 
crete impression, but only that which is common 
and permanent in numerous visual impressions, 
dismissing everything peculiar and accidental : 
and what is more accidental and changeable than 
light ? It follows directly that the primitive 
memory-picture, being without light and shade, 
is also without modelling ; and this corresponds 

Pages 6, with the above-mentioned uniformity of colour 
in early painting, which is nothing else than the 
memory's spontaneous rejection of light and 
shade. But the spontaneous memory-picture, 

Page 14 as we have shown, has also a repugnance to 
sq ' depth. An arm that is extended forward is in- 
tolerable to it, since the elementary imagination can 
apprehend a form, and retain it, only when seen 
in its fullest and most comprehensive aspect ; 
and neither here nor elsewhere will it endure any 
surfaces that, by being turned away and fore- 
shortened, partly escape apprehension. In the 
mind's eye every form must be expanded and 
smoothed out : the spontaneous mental image 
cannot be other than flat. 

FIGS. 31, 32. 
Bronze votive statuettes. Delphi. 


The most easily apprehended element of form, 
viz., the contour, and especially the general outline Page 13 
of the whole figure, is that which is first seized by 
the awakening consciousness of plasticity (38) ; 
and it is according to the varying strength of 
this consciousness (39) that certain parts begin 
straightway, and others hesitatingly, to project 
from the principal plane (Figs. 23, 31 sq.) (40). 

(38) For the contour shown in still undiminished sharp- 
ness, see besides the leaden idol, p. 54, note 17, and primi- 
tive terracottas, the fragment from the Ptoion (Collignon, 
i, Fig. 6 1 ; P. and C., viii, Fig. 81 ; Bull, Corr. Hell., x, 1886, 
pi. 7), and parts of the limestone figure: P. and C, viii, Fig. 85 ; 
Rev. Arch., xvii, 1891, pi. n. For rounding that follows 
the contours, compare island-idols and Pappades (cf. p. 
54, note 17; examples: Collignon, i, Figs. 2, 5, 53, 55), 
our Figs. 21 sq.) the Delian torso (p. 63, note 31), and 

(39) Our discussion has not given a very great share in 
the making of the primitive conception of form to the sense 
of touch. This has not resulted from a prejudice in favour of 
the visual memory-image, but quite inductively on the basis 
of observation of actual phenomena which certainly seem to 
prove the pre-eminent position held by the memory-image. 
Yet it will sufficiently appear, I hope, from my entire context 
that I do not leave out of consideration all the other facts 
that determine the simple conception of form as here, for in- 
stance, the plastic consciousness derived from our own bodies. 

(40) Cf. also terracottas, such as Collignon, i, Fig. 52 
sq. (54 sq.)-, P. and C, vi, Fig. 343; viii, Fig. 95 ; Winter, 
Figiirliche Terracotten, i, pp. 4, i, 4 5, 4 ; 9, 2 , etc.; 
Heuzey. Terres cuites, pis. 13, 1-3; 17, !- 3 ; Deutsches 


Forms, indeed, such as the face (first of all the 
nose), breasts, fore-arms, and the like, were early 
prominent ; other parts followed slowly. Yet for 
a long while all approach to the plastic imitation 
of nature is confined to details. Each part in 
itself separately acquires relief or rounded 
shape, but there is still wanting the power to 
coordinate them all in one plastic whole ; 
and therefore the artist continues still to piece 
together a figure with single parts, each part 
made for the full view, though itself modelled 
throughout ; and these parts (they would in any 
case be the trunk, head, upper arms, and thighs) 
he spreads out one alongside of the other in the 
Page 14 usual manner. The test of the parallel planes 
could be applied equally well to high reliefs, such 
as the Olympian Metopes, and to statues like the 

Jahrbuch, iii, 1888, p. 343, Figs. 26 (27 sg.). Bronzes, De 
Ridder, 697, 694; P. and C, viii, Fig. 90; Mon. Piot, ii, 
1895, pi. 15; Olympia, iv, 238 s#., 279, pi. 15 sqq.\ Bull. 
Corr. Hell., x, 1886, pi. 8. Many " island " idols are espe- 
cially good examples. Mycenaean, P. and C., vi, Figs. 330, 
341 sq., 344 ; Winter, Figiirliche Terracotten, i, pp. 2,1; 3, 2, 
etc. Cypriote, Collignon, i, Fig. 4; P. and C, iii, Fig. 396; 
Heuzey, pi. 9, i ; Winter, p. 18, 4. From Syria, American 
Journal of Archaeology, 2nd Ser., iv, 1900, pi. 2 sq. Italic 
(conservative in type), Martha, L'Art etrusque, Fig. 217. 

FIG. 33. 

Zeus throwing the thunderbolt. 
Bronze statuette. Olympia. Cf. Fig. 26. 

FIG. 34. 
Bronze statuette of a warrior from Dodona. Berlin. 

FIG. 35. 
Aristogeiton (from the Tyrannicides group). Naples. 

FIG. 36. 

Hercules taming the Bull. Metope of the temple of Zeus at Olympia. 
Paris (one piece in Olympia). 


Zeus with thunderbolt (Fig. 33) (41), or (since 
in the Zeus convenience for casting might be 
alleged) the Tyrannicides (Fig. 35) (42), and 
even the dying Amazon at Vienna. As if the 
figures were thus compressed between the two 
planes, we find the Hercules in the Metopes of 
the Bull (Fig. 36) and Cerberus (43), twisted, 
and the Amazon (44), in defiance of all 
anatomical possibility, bent sidewise instead of 
backwards or forwards. But the movement, if 
anatomically wrong, is yet true to the images in 
our minds. Not a detail is withdrawn from 
sight by being slanted away, foreshortened, or 

(41) See also page 48, note 7. In this motive pro- 
gress can be followed in detail. The whole composition 
of the Zeus is so flat that the raised right arm lies in the 
same plane with the head, which would be the first thing 
hit by the thunderbolt. In the Athena of the Acropolis 
(Collignon, i, Fig. 177 ; P. and C, viii, Fig. 308 ; Ephemeris, 
1887, pi. 7) the arm is already correctly brought forward, 
yet the shield is still shown in its full breadth. The warrior 
of Dodona (Fig. 34; cp. Collignon, i, Fig. 166; Bulle, 27; 
Arch. Zeit, xl, 1882, pi. i) holds also the shield at an angle 
corresponding with reality. The same thing may be seen 
in the various Kriophoroi and Diadumenoi. 

(42) See p. 56, note 20. The restorations do not 

(43) Olympia, iii, pi. 43, No. n. 

(44) B. B., 418. 


in shadow ; each part lies before the sight, 
full, entire, and clear, just as it lay before 
the mind. 

Let us look back. What we have observed 
in sculpture in the round, we found also in 
relief. Statuary even after rounding off the 
contours, still endeavours to keep the given 
view of the object as free as possible from fore- 
shortened curves, and shows an incapacity to 
subordinate the movement of planes to a com- 
prehensive plastic conception of the figure : the 
cause of this is the same which prevented figures 
from being quite plastically rendered in relief, 
though there the manner was perhaps continued 
Pages; of set purpose (45). Confronted with the above 
7 ' facts a merely genetic formula, such as the 
43 derivation of relief from drawing (46), appears 


(45) For drawing further parallels I add only a few refer- 
ences. Take p. 69 with p. 40 ; the Selinuntian Metope, p. 
50, note 12, with pp. 37 sq. ; the sculptures cited on p. 69, 
note 38 (the first part) with the reliefs, Fig. 13, p. 40, 
note 9 (against their derivation from wood-sculpture see 
Conze, Das Relief bei den Griechen, Ak. Berlin, 1882, 

P- 57i). 

(46) Even to stone relief this is not always applicable. 
In the Alxenor stele, for example (Fig. 44), which seems 
made to support the usual opinion (p. 43), the rigid uniform 


too narrow, and, for the same reason, all 
groupings and distinctions between the repre- 
sentative forms of art become fundamentally Page 44. 
irrelevant (47). 

surface of the figures lies considerably below the original 
surface of the block, as the foot seen in front-view and the 
side pillars prove. 

(47) The question whether and in what order the single 
branches of art have sprung from one another is, as Balfour 
remarks (Decorative Art, p. 78), not to be answered by 
history. I cannot test the observations of Piette (L 'Anthro- 
pologie, v, 1894, pp. 129 sqq., vi, 1895, pp. 129 sqq.) regard- 
ing the successive appearance of sculpture in the round, 
" cut-out " relief, and engraved drawing in several stages of 
the cave-period. Granted that they are correct for these 
particular provinces, the proof is still wanting of the absolute 
novelty of every subsequent procedure (cf. also p. 31). Riegl, 
Stilfragen, pp. i sqq., 20 sqq., and Hoernes, Urgeschichte, pp. 
49 sq. (cf. Collier, Primer, p. 13; Balfour, p. 79) maintain 
that sculpture in the round is the oldest form of art on 
account of the lower degree of abstraction required for it: the 
same criterium according to our views could be applied with 
the opposite result. Indeed, it would be tempting to con- 
struct a course of development in the order of line, surface, and 
solid body such as would lead from the most primitive indica- 
tion of form as expressed in merely one line (see p. 13 and 
Fig. i ; also partly Ricci, Arte dei Bambini, Figs. 3 -3 ; Sully, 
Childhood, Figs, i, 2, 7), to the picture of a figure in outline 
(intermediate forms, Von den Steinen, Zentral-Brasilien, pi. 
1 6 sq., p. 254; Sully, Fig. 12), thence to painted figures, and 
further to those in raised relief or in sunken (basrelief en creux) 
(p. 35 ; also P. and C, viii, Fig. 216 ; Bull. Corr. Hell., xxiii, 
l8 99> P- 599 ; P. and C, vi, Fig. 360; Collignon, i, Fig. 16), 


In each of its branches art begins by being 
flat like a drawing, and spread out in relief 
fashion, because the unprejudiced mental image 
(the faithful reproduction of which constitutes 
all primitive art with whatever material means 
it may work) is unplastical, lacking in depth in 
every sense, and spread out to its fullest and 
most comprehensive visibility. Only according 
as art breaks away from the dominion of the 
mental image do its means expand their powers 
in different directions. 

No one acquainted with history will suppose 
that this emancipation of art, viz., the discovery 
of nature, was made by sudden revelation all 
down the line. But, fortunate in our inherit- 
ance from all previous generations, we underrate 
the length and labour of the struggles that had 
to be undergone before, for the first time in 

from these with the removal of the field (p. 53, note 1 7 ; p. 54, 
note 1 8 ; Collignon, i, Fig. 49 ; P. and C., viii, Figs. 198 sqq. ; 
Terracottas in the British Museum, pi. xx, B 376) to the 
flat single- viewed figure, and finally (p. 58, note 22; p. 59, 
note 24) to the full plastic form with plurality of aspect. 
I have not made such an evolutional point of view the 
leading one in our discussion, because I think that, even 
in the case of its being tenable, the principle underlying it is 
the one discussed in the text. 


history, artistic form took its law directly from 
nature. Therefore, and to emphasise what has 
been said already, let us glance at the de- 
cisive stages of this process of transformation 
and separation. 



SOON after the middle of the sixth century B.C., 
we meet something new in the drawing (in the 
stricter sense) of the Greeks. They begin to 
take a marked interest in the trunk of the 
human figure. They present it in aspects 
never seen till now, obliquely and in back 
view, making it bend or twist, and fitting it out 
amply with anatomical details. At the same 
date, and often applied to the same problems 
of drawing, there appears a more striking inno- 
vation foreshortening (1). 

The new interest and the new method are 
related. It is easy to understand that we of 
to-day are relatively ignorant of the forms 
of the nude human trunk, but there were also 
good reasons for the same ignorance in the 
primitive art of the ancients. In every scene of 
which we are spectators our attention is called 

(1) Hart wig, Meisterschalen, pp. 154 sqq.\ cf. p. 365; 
Delbriick, Beitrage, pp. 27 sqq. 
7 6 


first and foremost to the acting or speaking parts 
of the body, to the limbs or head respectively, 
and of the mere intermediary trunk itself there 
remains at best a vague memory-picture. Thus 
it is that in the earliest productions of art the 
drawing of the trunk oscillates between the front 
view and the profile ; its forms are uncertain and 
ill understood. There was almost no occasion 
at all to exhibit the back of a body when figures 
were systematically juxtaposed (2). The intelli- 
gent interest in the trunk, then, is a sign of an 
increased observation of nature which is making 
energetic progress towards such images as were 
unknown to the unschooled imagination ; and 
such an increased observation is required for 

(2) In the well-known archaic fighting scheme (ex. the 
Euphorbos plate in the British Museum, A 268 ; Roscher, 
Lexikon der Mythologie, ii, 2, col. 2781 sq. ; Salzmann, 
Necropole de Camiros, pi. 53), and its variant, the hunt 
(Frangois Vase, Monument! dell' Istituto, iv, pi. 54 sq., 
Furtwangler-Reichhold, Griechische Vasenmalerei, pi. 13), 
one of the exactly corresponding warriors or huntsmen shows 
the spectator his back (clothed or cuirassed) ; but in these 
cases the design of the back is scarcely different from the 
front. For this scheme translated to the nude, cp. the kylix 
of Glaukytes and Archikles (Monumenti dell' Istituto, iv, 
pi. 59; Wiener Vorlegeblatter, 1889, pi. 2, 2). 


Every one knows the importance of fore- 
shortening in drawing as the opening up of 
the third dimension. Its fundamental value in 
the present connection can be expressed as the 
first breaking away from the primary method of 
working entirely from the mental image. All pre- 
vious deliberate observation of nature, of which 
there is an incalculable amount, had been em- 
ployed merely for improving the details of the 
images already existing in the mind. With the 
introduction of foreshortening (and so also of the 
back view) art goes outside the province of primi- 
tive conception for its subject and now draws its 
pictures direct from nature. This too, indeed, 
it had done occasionally heretofore; but such 
novel images were always conducted through the 
memory in the usual way, and assimilated in their 
entire structure to the spontaneous memory- 
pictures. With foreshortening the artist set to 
work for the first time upon a principle that 
conflicts with the primitive conception, and is 
derived from physical reality. It is a novelty, 
both morphologically, and as showing a new 
relation between art and nature. 

We say this, indeed, with certain reserves. 


Much earlier than this we found single instances 
of perspective, though they were of a different Page 21, 
kind from the above ; and just as they remained 
very limited, and without influence upon the 
construction of the figures in general, so also 
the new foreshortening was confined to a small 
sphere of problems, and appears to be an achieve- 
ment characteristic rather of individuals than of 
the art of the time considered as a whole. And, 
what is still more important : how many of the 
instances are delusive or imperfect, how few bear 
comparison with the real aspect of things, and 
can be traced to the immediate observation of 
nature ? No, they too are for the most part 
reminiscences ; and as we see the artist welding 
them inorganically together, and not seldom 
grafting them on forms of the old type (Figs. 
37 sg.), we understand how difficult he still finds 
it to free himself entirely from the habitual 

To foreshortening there was soon to be added 
another change. In part Polygnotos and his 
school (3) worked on existing lines ; the body 

(3) Perhaps owing to special racial endowment (cf. p. 30, 
note 34). On Polygnotan painting, see Benndorf, Heroon 


had been already emancipated from the two 
canonical views, front and side : this emancipa- 
tion was now extended to the head ; rigidity 
already overcome in the body is now overcome 
in the expression of the face ; the exclusiveness of 
the silhouette is further invaded by more elaborate 
grouping, that is to say, by a combination of ele- 
ments instead of the single figure. But something 
essentially new in Polygnotan art is the awakened 
sense of locality, though, indeed, the conception 
of it is far from being thorough. The elements 
that mark the environment are conceived only 
in their dependence upon the figures ; the silhou- 
ettes of the figures are placed on different levels, 
in order to indicate their position as being one 
behind another in space ; yet they are not given 
in different sizes, and, moreover, although figures 
are occasionally overlapped by the lines of the 
landscape, they still, in principle, stand out 
Page 13. from a merely neutral field. Till now all 
efforts to render a body in the round had been 

v. Gjolbaschi - Trysa, especially pp. 245 sqq. ; Schone, 
Deutsches Jahrbuch, viii, 1893, pp. 187 sqq ; Milchhofer, 
Deutsches Jahrbuch, ix, 1894, pp. 73 sq.\ Robert, 
Marathonschlacht, pp. 82 sqq. ; Girard, Mon. Grecs, 
1895-7, PP. i? W"> 46 sqq. 


made only through linear suggestions of depth. 
It was Apollodoros, the " shadow painter," who 
completed the plastic effect by shading his Page 66 
figures, and perhaps suggested space by letting^ 
them cast shadows. 

For a certain time, it would seem, shading and 
linear contour, the representatives of two con- 
trasting principles in art, existed peaceably to- 
gether (4), until Parrhasios (if our literary 
evidence can be so interpreted) (5) drew the 
conclusion and banished the linear contour, the 
peculiar creation of the mental vision. But just 
here the monuments fail us altogether. Later 
wall-paintings and mosaics (6) prove that Greek 
art knew the composition of larger groups of 
figures, a low horizon, a continuous environment, 
and an " illusionistic " manner of colouring inde- 
pendent of any notion of outline. 

(4) Cf. Girard, Peinture antique, Fig. 122 sq.\ Winter, 
Attische Lekythos des Berliner Museums, pp. 3, 6, and plate. 
An indirect proof is the picture of Aphrodite from the house 
near the Farnesina, unsatisfactorily reproduced, Monu- 
menti, xii, 1885, P ls - T 9> 2I - Mau's observations on this - 
seem to me just (Annali, 1884, pp. 319 sq.\ 1885, pp. 
310 sf.). 

(5) Berl. Phil. Wochenschrift, 1898, col. 1422. 

(6) Studies of these have been prepared. 


The development of statuary can be followed 
more closely. In this, at a vej*y early period, 
the edges were rounded (i.e. the contours were 
suppressed) and more than one view was pre- 
Pages 69, sented : the figures were no longer unifacial. 
7 ' Nature had obtained its first success. The 
rounding of the edges was common to statuary 
and relief, but plurality of view separates the 
former from both relief and drawing. Sculpture 
in the round rested upon the laurels of this 
achievement for a long while. In no other 
branch, perhaps, is it so evident how art, with 
infinite pains and surprising keen-sightedness, 
collects its observations of nature only to place 
them obediently in the service of the usual mental 
method of conception. In this manner, viz., by 
an ever-increasing number of reminiscences of 
nature, some traditional, others first hand in 
this manner, I maintain, there could be and was 
achieved whatever anatomical perfection appears 
in the ^Eginetan pediments and in the charioteer 
of Delphi (7). But even if the use of the living 

(7) The ^ginetans : Collignon, i, Figs. 144-49, P^ 4> 
B. B., 23-28; Furtwangler, ^Egina, pis. 95 sq. } pp. 176 sqq. 
Charioteer: the best in Mon. Piot, iv, 1897, pis. 15 sq. ; 
Fouilles de Delphes, iv, Mon. Fig., Sculpt, pis. xlix-1. 


model could be proved for these works (8), 
the role which he played was so evidently 
subordinated to established types as to confirm 
what I have said. For the use of the model 
would seem to have remained limited to the mere 
perfecting of forms and motives that had been 
already often employed by art (9), and just 
where the artist abandoned the usual forms for 
an innovation as in the turning of the upper 
part of the charioteer's body, and the twisting 
of the dying warrior in the East pediment (10) 
there he pieced on the novelty according to 
the subjective imagination, and nature remained 
unconsulted (11). 

For how long a time plurality of aspect re- 

(8) Such is the supposition for the ^Eginetans : Schrader, 
Ath. Mitt., xxii, 1897, pp. 98 sq. the opposite view: Lange, 
p. 70. See also Wagner's remarks upon their anatomy, ^Egin. 
Bildw., pp. 96-101. 

(9) It would be exactly the same with the earlier 
painting, if what Perrot (i, p. 742), and especially Pettier 
(Revue des Etudes grecques, xi, 1898, pp. 355 sqq.\ sup- 
pose regarding its systematic study of shadow is correct. 

(10) Collignon, i, pi. 4; Bulle, 38, 2; B. B., 28; Furt- 
wangler, ^Egina, pi. 95, Fig. 41. Cf. also Lange, p. 70. 

(11) Cf. also the observations on animal representations by 
Frankel, Deutsch. Jahrb., i, 1886, pp. 52 sq. ; Winnefeld, Alt- 
griech. Bronzebecken aus Leontini, pp. 14-17, and others. 


mained strictly limited we saw, by anticipation, 
Page 64 in another place. Even when we no longer 
' find angular shapes in head and extremities, and 
when even the trunk (as in the most developed 
work of Praxiteles) (12) has lost the last relic of the 
merely four-sided horizontal section, at least the 
front plane of the trunk still makes a certain effort 
to maintain its independence, still shows a certain 
resistance to roundness (13). So, too, the flat 
expansion of the whole figure is retained long 
Page 70 after the archaic period. Assuredly from the 
sq * Delphic charioteer to the Munich oil-pourer (14), 
and so on, there are not wanting progressive 
attempts to dissolve the uniformity of the front 
plane by giving the upper part of the body a 
different turn from that of the legs, and the 
head from the body, or by bringing out the 
arms, etc. ; sometimes even the upper part of 
the body bends forward, as in the squatting 
figure in the Eastern Pediment of Olympia 

(12) Collignon, ii, pi. 5 ; Bulle, 156; B. B., 466. 

(13) See, in addition to note 36 on p. 65, Furtwangler, 
Masterpieces, p. 330. 

(14) Collignon, i, Fig. 249; Bulle, 112; B. B., 
132, 1 34 fl - The statue seems to me important in several 
respects as a forerunner of Lysippean tendencies. 


(15). But these attempts appear isolated. To 
the great majority of the works of the pre- 
decessors of Praxiteles and to his own (16) we 
can apply the test of the parallel planes. An ex- 
ception is to be made for one class only : figures 
meant for the profile view. In them the artist at 
a fairly early period was not afraid to give the 
extremities a greater projection, occasionally, also, 
to bend and twist the trunk, and even, though 
timidly, to round it off: examples of these are 
the ^Eginetan figures and the Tubingen Hoplito- 
drome (17). Nevertheless, both phenomena 
the rule, as well as the apparent exception 
spring from the same inner cause. Figures 
seen in front view would have been less 
exposed if bending, turning or projecting 
(18). Profile figures in these actions would 

(15) B. B., 450 ; Olympia, iii, pi. 14, No. i. 

(16) Cf. p. 84, note 13, and Collignon, ii, Figs. 131-49; 
Bulle, 150, 154, iSS^B- B -> 2 34, 37i, 376, 377- The 
Ganymede of Praxiteles' contemporary Leochares (Collignon, 
ii, Fig. 1 60 ; B. B., 158) seems rather to elude the constraint 
than to break through it. 

(17) The ^Eginetans, see p. 82, note 7. Hoplitodrome : 
Collignon, i, Fig. 152; B. B., 35 1; Deutsches Jahrb., i, 
1886, pi. 9. 

(18) So also Bulle, Berl. Phil. Wochenschr., 1900, col. 1040. 


not be less exposed, and art soon made use 
of its freedom. Yet even such figures tend 
for a long time to show to the spectator 
the utmost expanse of the trunk, and some- 
times more than what was anatomically pos- 
sible (19). If any one would ascribe this 
tendency in pediment figures (20), where, in- 
deed, it is most common, to constraint of 
space, or other special reasons, let him look 
at Myron's " Diskobolos " (Fig. 39). Even this 
is still bound by the primary conception, though 

(19) See, after Fig. 19, Collignon, i, Fig. 165; P. and 
C, viii, Fig. 348, Id., Fig. 307; De Ridder, 780, pi. 8; 
Ephemeris, 1887, p. 134; Olympia, iv, 46, pi. 7; the 
Artemis " Laphria", Collignon, ii, Fig. 345; Bulle, 30 ; B. B., 
356; Rom. Mitt., iii, 1888, pi. 10; Studi e Materiali di 
Archeologia, i, 1899, pi. 3; the repeatedly mentioned 
Zeus (Fig. 26) and the Tyrannicides (p. 56, note 20); 
the Penelope, Collignon, i, Fig. 210; B. B., 175; Ant. 
Denkmaler, i, 31, and others. The Barberini "Suppliant" 
(B. B., 415), and even the poising Diskobolos (Collignon, 
ii, Fig. 60; B. B., 131) still show traces. There needs 
no further proof that dependence upon prototypes from design 
or relief is not a sufficient explanation of this phenomenon. 
The translation of a composition from relief or drawing into 
sculpture in the round did not compel the artist to forgo his 
conception of the round if he had any. 

(20) So still in the Parthenon, Collignon, ii, Figs. 10, 
2i, pi. 3; Bulle, 94; B. B., 189 sq., 192; Michaelis, 
pis. 6, G, M; 8, B. Cf. Treu, Deutsches Jahrb., x, 1895, 
pp. 12 sq.\ Schrader, Ath. Mitt., xxii, 1897, p. 98. 

FIG. 39. 

Myron's Diskobolos. Set up in plaster from two marble copies in Rome 
(the left arm is modern). 

FIG. 40. 

Youth tying his sandal. Lysippean. Paris. 
From Brunn-Bruckmann, Denkmiiler griech. und rom, Sculptur, pi. 67 


it may certainly be considered its most daring 
venture. It is, in the broader sense defined 
above, a unifacial figure (21); in spite of the Page 56 
partial contortion of the upper parts of the body, sq 
the general scheme is compressed between the 
two parallel planes, and each part of it seeks 
to exhibit itself to the spectator in a full and 
exhaustive aspect. 

It was in the work of Lysippos (22) that 
sculpture truly fulfilled all the conditions, In 
the natural rounding of his forms there flow in 
and out of one another endlessly different views 
(Fig. 40) ; there is no reserve, no perceptible 
division between one view and another. In thep a ge6s. 
front view, also, Lysippos freely exhibits fore- 
shortened aspects, not only in the trunk, that Page 76. 
bends and turns in every direction, but in the 

(21) Cf. Lange, pp. 75 sq. Illustration of the narrow 
view, Jahrb., x, 1895, p. 49. 

(22) Cf. Collignon, ii, Figs. 218 sq., 252, in my opinion 
also Fig. 124; Bulle, 163, 167, 169, 171, 150; B. B., 
243, 281-83, 388. Here and elsewhere I use the artists' 
names as landmarks in the history of art, which from the 
nature of our sources is all that most of them can be. 
I have pointed out in my Lysipp (p. 12) that a portion 
of the progress spoken of above possibly belongs to Skopas 
(cf. also Furtwangler, Masterpieces, pp. 302, 394). More 
than that possibility I cannot concede even yet. 


whole figure, which throws its arms and legs 
vigorously into space. Here there can be no 
longer any question of consideration for a corn- 
Page 86. pleting background, even an imaginary one. So 
with this the specific perfection of statuary is 
achieved ; the direct contact with nature has 
been reached in all essentials. 

This can be said, however, only of single 
figures, not groups ; for it is clear that in 
groups, we must judge the stage of develop- 
ment, not by the single parts of the group, 
but by the composition of the whole. A group 
can be put together of figures perfectly rounded 
out, and offering foreshortened aspects, and yet 
as a whole it may be conceived for one point of 
view only, in which view all its parts maintain 
their respective full visibility. A statuary 
group that goes a step further than most primi- 
tive combinations (such as rider and horse, 
mother and child, animals fighting, or associated 
with men as attributes and so on) we see for the 
first time in the West pediment of the Temple 
of Zeus at Olympia. Here indeed, and even 
more so in the Parthenon Pediments (23), there 
(23) Olympia: Collignon, i, Figs. 234-37, pis. 9, 10; 


is still a timidity in bringing together the elements. 
Nevertheless the degree of combination here 
reached was not surpassed until the Hellenistic 
period, and, if we leave out of account the 
not very frequent representations of wrest- 
ling motives (24), was never surpassed at all 
by the antique group. Jealously guarding their 
material independence, the figures allow them- 
selves to come into contact with one another 
only in subordinate parts, and where there is 
least possible expanse of surface to be covered. 
We do not maintain that this in every case would 
be untrue to the situation, but, as cumulative 
evidence, the phenomenon gives us a standard 
by which to measure the artist's dependence 
upon the primitive form of conception. Thus 
when in most of the groups the masses are in 

B. B., 45!-55 ; Olympia,iii, pis. 18-21, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32 ; 
Parthenon: Collignon, ii, Figs. 8, 9, n, 17, 18, 21, pi. 3; 
B. B., 186-92; Michaelis, pis. 6-8. 

(24) For example, the Uffizi Wrestlers (Fig. 42). Pitti 
Aritseus group: Reinach, Repertoire de la Statuaire, i, 472; 
cf. ii, 234, 4 ; 539, 3 sq. ; De Ridder, 747. Boy with goose : 
Collignon, ii, Fig. 319; Bulle, 201 ; B. B., 433. Over against 
these compare Reinach, Repertoire, ii, 233, 8; 538, i, 
5 sq.\ Deutsches Jahrb., xiii, 1898, pi. ii, p. 178; Rev. 
Arch., xxxv, 1899, pi. 18. 


the main put one over against the other so that 
Lange could reduce the arrangement, at least of 
archaic groups, to simple geometrical relations 
(25), we find the psychological cause of it in two 
facts : on the one hand, the imagination composes 
only piece by piece ; on the other hand, the 
silhouette always endeavours to preserve for 
itself the greatest possible isolation. This is at 
once clear in groups where the figures are spread 
out in a straight line, and it is not difficult to 
detect in those where they converge at an oblique 
angle : even in the Ludovisi group of the Gaul and 
his wife (26), in spite of all foreshortenings in the 
figures themselves, the portions of the figures 
that are covered are very few, and can be easily 
supplied by the spectator. But also where the 
elements of the group are composed at right 
angles to one another so that the masses cross 
(here we are concerned for the most part with 
combinations such as an adult and child, man 
and animal), the portions covered by one another 
are almost always of secondary importance. In 

(25) Cf. Lange, p. xii : his theory is always based upon 
the " median plane " (p. 45, note 3). 

(26) Collignon, ii, Fig. 259 ; B. B., 422. For the restora- 
tion of the arm, see note 31 on p. 93. 

Upper part of Praxiteles' Hermes with the infant Dionysos. Olympia. 

FIG. 42. 

Wrestlers. Marble Group. Florence. (The heads do not belong. ) 
From Brunn-Bruckmann, Denkmaler gricch. undrom. Sculptur, pi. 431. 


the Praxitelean group (Fig. 41), for instance, it 
is a little and insignificant part of the silhouette 
of Hermes that is taken up by the infant Dionysos 
held out to the side. We can remark the same in 
the Silenos nursing the child Bakchos, in the 
Niobe and her daughter, and even in the boy with 
the goose, and other wrestling groups (27). The 
Florentine Wrestlers (Fig. 42), to the intricate 
composition of which Lange's geometrical defini- 
tions fail to apply, are the only exception known 
to me, in groups of two or more than two 
figures (28). 

This spreading out of the elements in a group 
corresponds to the aversion to foreshortening in 
the single statue, which was one of the ob- 
stacles in the way of a rendering of the round 
as it is in nature. In the most complicated p age 66 
kind of art, the statuary group, antiquity over- sq ' 

(27) Silenos : Collignon, ii, Fig. 301 ; B. B., 64. 
Niobe: Collignon, ii, Fig. 278; B. B., 311. Wrestler 
groups : p. 89, note 24. 

(28) For example, the Graces : Reinach, Repertoire, i, 
346. The marble group (variously named) in Naples : 
Reinach, Repertoire, i, 427. Laokoon : Collignon, ii, Fig. 
285; B. B., 236. Farnese Bull, Collignon, ii, Fig. 277; 
B. B., 367 ; Zeitschr. fur bild. Kunst, N. F., xiv, 1903, 
pp. 171 sqq. Nile: Collignon, ii, Fig. 287; B. B., 


came this dislike in isolated cases only, Did 
Page 53 it succeed better with plurality of aspect ? 
' In groups composed in one plane as if they 
were reliefs for instance the Laokoon, Pan 
and Olympos, and others (29), pediments 
of course included in such groups it is self- 
evident that only one view was intended. 
But the other groups also, however they be 
arranged, and however freely exhibited, invari- 
ably allow, so far as I see (30), only a slight 
deviation of standpoint to right or left if essential 
parts are not to be hidden or distorted. One 
view there is, however, in each of them which 

(29) Laokoon: see precedent note (also the Graces). Olym- 
pos: Reinach, Repertoire, i, 407, 413. For the Borghese 
Amazon see the remarks of M. Mayer, Deutsches Jahrb., 
ii, 1887, pp. 82 sq. Mayer explains the composition by assum- 
ing that the artist had to arrange it for a definite background, 
an explanation which may be correct in certain single cases. 
If, however, a flat scheme were always evidence of it, then 
nine-tenths of extant statues must have been worked for 
setting up against a wall. If ever a group was made like a 
relief, to be seen from only one aspect, the Vatican Nile 
(foregoing note) is such an one, and yet the representations 
on the plinth prove that it was to be seen from all sides. 

(30) I have been able to test, in original or cast, only a 
part of what exists. The limits of development laid down in 
the text may have been reached in a few other cases and 
even exceeded ; but in principle such instances would be of 
small importance. 


combines the essential features in full number 
and in full clearness in respect of the motive. 
In this view, then, the original invention is com- 
prehended ; any further elaboration is made for 
material completeness (31), but adds nothing to 

(31) For example, in the Ludovisi group of the Gaul and 
wife (p. 90, note 26) such a view would be that taken 
from the middle of the plinth (near the point of the man's 
left foot) about as in Brunn-Bruckmann (the face of the man 
is covered only by the wrong restoration of the right arm). 
The group of Menelaos with the dead Achilles should be 
looked at as it is now reproduced in the Zeitschrift fiir 
bildende Kunst, N. F., xiv, 1903, p. 178 (approximately so in 
Reinach, Rep. Stat, ii, 508, i). For the turning of the 
head of Menelaos, cp. Von der Launitz in Urlichs, Pas- 
quino, p. 22; Donner, in Annali dell' Istituto, 1870, pp. 
85 sq. \ for the plinth, Donner, ibid., p. 78; for the setting 
up which is too high, Amelung, Fiihrer, p. 9. A like test 
could be applied to the boy with the goose, and so on. For 
the Dioscuri of Monte Cavallo, which apparently deviate 
from this rule (see, moreover, p. 52, note 15), compare 
Petersen, Rom, p. 92 ; for those of the Capitol steps, 
Michaelis, Rom. Mitt., vi, 1891, pp. 43 sq., and his repro- 
duction of Michael Angelo's drawing in Zeitschrift fiir bild. 
Kunst, ii, 1891, p. 188. No one will be surprised that in 
plastic representations of the round-dance the natural circular 
form was carried out even in primitive art (for example, 
Olyrtipia, iv, 263, pi. 16). Yet these groups are not, 
therefore, exceptions. For, looked at from whatever point, 
the view remains fundamentally the same, viz., all-embracing. 
If a figure be added in the middle (P. and C., iii, Fig. 399, 
p. 586, 2 ; Winter, i, p. 12, 8), this will determine what is the 
main aspect. 


what was already given by the one view. In 
other words those groups stopped at the first stage 
Page 54 of plastic conception. I know only one antique 
group which goes further, the " Wrestlers" 
at Florence (Fig. 42) (32). These show the 
spectator two views, each of which contains a 
certain distinct motive. It would seem that the 
Farnese Bull (33) was a still further advance, 
since to obtain a complete view of it, we have 
to look at it from several points. In this work 
antique art would not only have reached the 
highest perfection for a group in the round, but 
would have gone even further than perfection 
allows ; for, not satisfied with composing a pluri- 
facial group, it attempts also to force the actual 
space between and around the figures into the 
composition, by adding scattered figures, the 
Antiope, the mountain god, and the dog 

(32) The Wrestlers may thus be considered (cf. also what 
we have said above, p. 91) as the highest developed group 
that antiquity has left us. Of the other groups cited on 
p. 89, note 24 (cf. also the precedent note), the Antaeus 
of Palazzo Pitti, and so too, e.g., Clarac, Musee de Sculpture, 
672, 1735 ; Reinach, Repertoire de la Statuaire, ii, 459, 8, 
etc., have certainly one aspect only. This is probably true 
of most of the rest, according to the illustrations. 

(33) P. 91, note 28. 

FIG. 43. 

The punishment of Dirke by Zethos and Amphion (" the Farnese Bull"). 
Marble Group. Naples. 

From. Prof. Studniczka's article (Zeitschr.filr bild. Knnst> xiv, 1903, pp. 171 sgq., Fig. 13). 


(34). But if we disregard these figures just on 
account of their detachment from the principal 
group, we find that for the principal group there 
is only one, and that again an exhaustive point of 
view (Fig. 43) (35). 

We can well avoid discussing how in all 
particulars and minor parts of musculature, hair, 
eyes (36), drapery, and so on, the plastic repre- 
sentation advanced from the draughtsman's to the 
sculptor's methods (37), from the arrangement 
of elements one alongside of another to a just 

(34) Cf. Hildebrand, Problem der Form, p. 97 sq. Cf. 
also Studniczka, Zeitschrift fur bild. Kunst, N. F., xiv, 1903, 
pp. 171 sqq. 

(35) See the comparison made by Sogliano (II Sup- 
plizio di Dirce, Accad. Napoli, xvii, 1895, No. 7, p. 5) 
between the group and the newly discovered wall-painting 
(ibid.) the plates; Deutsches Jahrb., x, 1895, Anz., p. 120). 
I do not think the group is the original of this or any other 
painting, but the reverse : it is copied from a painting. 
From the painted original, itself perhaps an amplification of 
a simpler composition, the artists of the group could have 
taken the suggestion of landscape details as well as the acces- 
sory figures. The same view is also given by the Naples 
gem and the coins, Arch. Zeit., xi, 1853, pis. 56, i ; 58, i 
sq. -, ^Zeitschrift fiir bild. Kunst, xiv, 1903, p. 182, Fig. 12. 

(36) About this see Conze, Uarstellung des mensch- 
lichen Auges, Ak. Berlin, 1892, pp. 47 sqq. 

(37) There are some observations about this by Winter, 
Deutsches Jahrbuch, viii, 1893, p. 137 ; Osterr. Jahreshefte, 
hi, 1900, p. 84. 


comprehension of mass. The end in view was 
always the same : only the rapidity and degree 
of approach to nature that was granted to antique 
art vary in proportion to the obstacles to be over- 
come. So it results that a single moment of 
time, taken in any period, will yield morpholo- 
gical dissimilarities, even within the same branch 
of art. 

The third form of representation, relief, re- 
mains to be considered. We recognised that 
the characteristics of low relief and sculpture 
in the round at their beginnings are referable 
Page 72. to the same cause. Whilst, however, we 
followed the course of low relief in stone beyond 
the bounds of the archaic period, we found not 
only a standstill in its development, but even a 
deliberate rejection, as it were, of that measure 
Pages of plasticity over which contemporary statuary 
40 sqq. had already sure command. To explain this fact 
the general principles which we have evolved 
do not suffice. Perhaps explanation can be 
found in what follows. Any distribution and 
movement of planes in relief to imitate nature 
must lead to a high and even full relief. Now, 
low relief on stone, as we know it in archaic art 


(and this applies to other kinds of relief where Pages 
like phenomena occur), was accompanied by de- 
finite tectonic conditions, be it on a stele, archi- 
tectural frieze, or the like. With surface decora- 
tion that was merely painted, or that required only 
a slight relief, the body and mass of the piece 
remained, on the whole, unchanged. High 
relief, on the contrary, could have been attained 
only by weakening the structural element, or 
by a disproportionate increase of the entire mass. 
It would seem as if art, aware of this danger, 
had wished to obviate it by a conscious per- 
severance in low relief. Where those conse- 
quences were structurally admissible in metopes, 
for instance there, indeed, we find high-relief 
(38) also at an early period. 

(38) We can accept the suggestion of Koepp, Deutsches 
Jahrbuch, ii, 1887, pp. 121 sqq., that it was derived from 
statues originally placed in open metopes. Similarly the 
high reliefs of Dermys and Kitylos (Collignon, i, Fig. 91; 
P. and C, viii, Fig. 270; Ath. Mitt., iii, 1878, pi. 14) are 
plainly substitutes for grave-statues. On the other hand, 
low relief, and even painting, seem to have been used 
at the same periods as high relief for the decoration 
of metopes, to judge by those of Selinus and Delphi 
(P. and C, viii, Fig. 248; B. B., 288; Monumenti 
Lincei, i, 4, 1892, Sculture di Selinunte, pi. i sqq.\ 
P. and C., viii, Figs. 228, 230; Bull. Corr. Hell., xx, 1896, 


So long as the primary stage prevails through- 
out in art, relief and drawing remain closely 
united, though, perhaps, the former favours for 
the human figure the side direction even more 
Page 47 exclusively than the latter. The front view of 
the head would have occasioned a greater 
difference of planes (39), owing to the dif- 
ferences of elevation, of which even the primitive 
mind was here, of course, early conscious. The 
two arts diverge at the moment when drawing 
takes a new road with foreshortening. Low 
relief undertook the attempt, at least, to follow 
drawing in this, as the Alxenor stele (Fig. 44) 
(40) attests ; but a few such experiments were 
enough to prove the incompatibility of the fore- 
pi. 10 ; Fouilles de Delphes, iv, Sculpture, pi. 3), and those 
of Thermos (Ephemeris, 1903, pis. 2-6), and a like freedom, 
we may suppose, was used in the decoration of pediments. 

(39) So, in fact, in the Laconian hero reliefs (p. 39), 
and on coins, in the heads of animals, and the Gorgoneion, 
which last, indeed, as flat-nosed, is compatible also with 
low relief. The unusual height of relief of certain very 
ancient coin types, as vases, shields, tortoises, does not 
contradict but confirms the above. The primitive conception 
does almost at once full justice to objects that are quite 
spherical (see p. 63, note 30). 

(40) Here, again, racial endowment for acutely seizing 
the situations of nature may have contributed. 

FIG. 44. 

Grave relief of a peasant, from Boeotia. 
By Alxenor of Naxos. Athens. 


shortening motives with the low relief steadily 
retained (41). 

And so it will no longer surprise, that to 
defend its flat character, relief went to the 
extremes noticed above. Yet, all the even- Page 42 
ness of the Philis stele (Fig. 15), all the com-^' 
pression and considerately fitted motives of 
the warrior of Pella (Fig. 16) do not wholly 
conceal a desire to get by stealth that which 
the tyranny of low relief does not allow direct, 
namely, rounding and depth in the Philis, by 
the careful modelling of the sides ; in the youth, 

(41) In fact, the Naples replica (Collignon, i, Fig. 125; 
P. and C., viii, Fig. 73 ; B. .,416) avoids the foreshortening, 
at least, of the foot. It is instructive to compare this with 
certain characteristics which appear in several places in Italian 
quattrocentro reliefs, where flattened planes, and often sharply 
cut contours, forcibly recall the manner described on p. 42. 
To give Florentine examples only, I would cite the Cantorie 
of Donatello, or the well-known Madonnas ascribed to him 
or to his influence (Bode, Italienische Bildhauer der 
Renaissance, pp. 33 sqq., 47 sqq. Beschreibung der Bild- 
werke der christlichen Epoche, pp. 42, 70, and elsewhere). 
Here the equalisation of relief and drawing is carried out 
in the motives to the last degree, and by this very fact the 
true limits of both are made evident. The relief being flat 
and unplastic, whilst the drawing is not sparing in fore- 
shortening, the eye is offended by the contradiction between 
appearance and reality. How far Greek originals may have 
influenced this manner of relief cannot be examined here. 


by the calculated inclination of planes from left 
and right to the centre. 

But there arise new difficulties. Primitive 
relief and drawing spreading out figures the 
one alongside of the other, can obtain an in- 
timate connection of a large number only in the 
form of juxtaposition, especially when obliged 
to give them a sideward direction. And when 
they meet, by no contrivance of heads turned 
back or seen in full front can more than two 
figures be brought into direct relation of action ; 
the rest must have a secondary share in the scene, 
as spectators or followers. This prevalence of 
the sideward direction continues still in the Par- 
thenon frieze (42). Here, it is true, the subject 
itself is a procession, and the bipartition of the 
group of gods on the East frieze looks like the 
deliberate choice of the artist, for by this arrange- 
ment the gods face towards each procession 
making its way up the sides to the entrance, and 
Zeus and Athena, the Royal Father, and the 
Lady of the Festival, did not need to contest the 
foremost place. But the desire to represent a 

(42) P. 39, note 8. East frieze : Collignon, ii, Figs.24-26 ; 
B. B., 1 06- 10 ; Michaelis, pi. 14. 

FIG 45 . 
Attic funeral relief. Paris. 

FIG. 46. 
Attic funeral relief. Athens. 

FIG. 47. 
Attic funeral relief. Athens. 

FIG. 48. 
Attic funeral relief. Mantua. 

FIG. 49. 
Attic funeral relief. Athens. 

FIG. 50. 
Attic funeral relief. Athens. 


more varied and intimate relationship could not 
be suppressed. The "three-figure reliefs" (43) 
are evidence of the endeavour, as also of the im- 
possibility of quite satisfying it with the methods 
hitherto employed ; the close combination of two 
figures upon a low relief implied the isolation of 
the third, however admirably this isolation in the 
reliefs in question might harmonise with the 
characters and situations represented. 

The desire became more eager with every 
fresh attempt to impart now to relief whatever 
naturalness was possessed by drawing. We find Page 79 
three-quarter views of head and legs (as in the 
Parthenon frieze), of the trunk (as in the friezes 
of the Theseum and Temple of Nike) (44), 
figures in such action as demands greater depth, 
and suggestions of environment as occur some- 
what timidly upon the Theseum and Temple of 
Nike, and more completely, with tendencies 

(43) The Eleusinian: Collignon, ii, Fig. 68; B. B., 
7. Orpheus, Peirithoos, Peliads : Petersen, Rom, Figs. 
99-101 ; cp. Collignon, ii, Fig. 69 ; B. B., 341. Votive 
reliefs : Le Bas, Monuments figure's, 49, i, and others. 

(44) Theseion : Collignon, ii, Figs. 40-42 ; B. B., 
406-408; Sauer, Theseion, pis. 3 sq. Nike frieze: Col- 
lignon, ii, Figs. 48-50; B. B., 117 sq. ; Ross, Tempel 
der Nike, pis. n sq. ; Ancient Marbles, ix, pis. 7-10. 



towards perspective, upon the friezes of Trysa and 
Xanthos, where there reappears the old Oriental 
love of landscape (45). All these developments 
were finally to loosen the rigidity of low relief,' 
to suggest a full and plastic elevation, a richer 

graduation of planes. We see this at Phigaleia ; 
still more advanced on the Nike Balustrade (46), 
and in the Erechtheum frieze (47). In the last- 
named (where the sculpture is only attached and 
leaves quite integral the structural mass) there 
are figures seated approximately in front view 
and others grouped together and overlapping one 
another. Yet we still find low relief defending 
itself on all sides; and along with the heaping 
up, rounding out, and prominence of the figures 
that were imposed upon it, it endeavours to 

(45) Trysa: Collignon, ii, Figs. 100 sq. B. B., 486; 
Benndorf and Niemann, Heroon von Gjolbaschi-Trysa, pis. 
12 sq.) 1 6. Nereid Monument: Collignon, ii, Figs. 103- 
109; B.B.,2i8^.; Monumenti, x, 1875, pis. 13-18; Annali 
dell' Istituto, 1876, pis. D, E. 

(46) Phigaleia: Collignon, ii, Figs. 77-80; B. B., 86- 
91; Ancient Marbles, iv, pis. 1-23. Balustrade: Col- 
lignon, ii, Figs. 51-54; B. B., 34 sq.\ R. Kekule, Reliefs 
an der Balustrade der Athena Nike, pis. 1-6. 

(47) Collignon, ii, Figs. 45 sq.; B. B., 31-33; R. 
Schone, Griechische Reliefs, pis. 1-4; Antike Denkmaler, 
ii, 31-34- 


maintain its character as much as possible by 
expanded, even forms and motives, by sharply 
cut contours (48), by a deploy of the figures in 
single file, and above all by a unity in the high- 
est plane of elevation. Tectonic exigencies, and 
the tradition of the frieze assist it in this. 

In sepulchral reliefs, also, the desire arose to 
develop in the ever-widening space of the stele 
a fuller family picture. Here, where intimate 
connection was especially needful, the want of a 
form of composition that should bring into rela- 
tion more than two persons was bound to be 
felt. To make such a closely connected group, 
first of three figures, at least, there was a means 
which, though not for this purpose, had long 
been employed, viz., the use of the free field, in 
this case the space between the two figures that 
are opposite one another clasping hands. But 
in order that the figure thus interposed should 
not appear indifferent or disturbing, nor, again, 
push out of action one of the original figures, it 
was not enough merely to put it in full front : 

(48) The Parthenon frieze, for instance, often shows a 
ack of uniformity in the use of these : the intention was 
evidently to avoid a multiplicity of planes. 


a difference in plane was necessary it was 
necessary to introduce a middle distance, and 
thus to increase also the depth of the old relief 
(Figs. 45-50) (49). With this innovation (and 
I do not say it was only in sepulchral relief 
that it occurred) fell the barrier which hitherto 
had checked the entrance of nature into relief 
the regulation of the elevations by a common 
ideal front plane, entailing the juxtaposition 
of the figures in single line, and the ignoring 
of depth and space according to the purely 
Page 70. mental procedure. A new real high relief had 
Page 97. arisen, not that pseudo-relief of the Metope, 
but one that had come by an organic growth, 
having command over plurality of planes, and 
approaching free sculpture without being quite 
merged in it. 

With this development, however, relief, as 
low relief, found its end (50). 

(49) Cf. for other examples (in the order of progression 
indicated by the hyphens) : Conze, Grabreliefs i, No. 434, 
pi. 102, No. 329, pi. 82; No. 327, pi. 81, No. 293, 
pi. 69, ii, No. 718, pi. 141; i, No. 465, pi. 109; No. 
322, pi. 80; No. 304, pi. 72. 

(50) Of course in every province of art forms belonging 
to a more primitive stage of development continue to 


And yet it is just this branch of art 
oscillating between sculpture in the round 
and drawing which we select as most typi- 
cal of the antique (51). We saw that no 
quality characteristic of relief (i.e. of low relief) 
was really peculiar to it, but that low relief 
for its self-preservation had to retain longer 
and more conspicuously than the sister arts 
that which is primordial in all art. Insepar- 
ably dependent upon the simple abstract con- 
conception, it becomes the truest exponent of 
its laws. 

Certainly much that is called "relief-like" 
was kept in Greek art, and that not only in 
the province of relief itself. It would be no 
useless undertaking to determine how far the 
principles we have enumerated at the out- 
set remained still in force at the close of 

exist at more evolved periods, especially when there is com- 
pulsion from external circumstances. 

\51) See Hildebrand, Problem der Form, especially 
p. 66. In what we have written above, it will be seen how 
far Hildebrand's precepts, founded on physiological premises, 
agree with historical conclusions reached from a different 


antiquity, and thereby to sum up the develop- 
ment of antique art from the point of view of 
form. No art, indeed, has yet entirely delivered 
itself from those principles. 


To face page 

Fig. i. From a tracing by the author . . 20 

Fig. 2. Alfred C. Haddon, The Decorative Art of 
British New Guinea (Royal Irish Academy, 
"Cunningham Memoirs," No. x, 1894), 
pi. Hi . . . . .21 

Figs. 3, 4. Helbig, Das homerische Epos, 2nd 

edition, p. 138, Fig. 32; p. 139, Fig. 33. 22 

Fig. 5. Monuments grecs, publics par 1' Associa- 
tion pour 1'encouragement des Etudes 
grecques, ii, No. 11-13, P- 44> Fig. i . 22 

Fig. 6. Mitteilungen des kaiserl. deutschen archao- 
logischen Instituts, Athenische Abtei- 
lung, xxii, 1897, pi. 8 . .23 

Fig. 7. 'E^jy/xepf? 'ApxcuoAoytKT/, 1888, pi. 10 . 30 

Fig. 8. Capitan et Breuil, Grotte de Font-de-Gaume, 
pi. ii, Fig. 4. Revue de 1'Ecole d'Anthro- 
pologie de Paris, xii, 1902. . . 32 

Fig. 9. L'Anthropologie, xv, 1904, p. 160, 

Fig- S3 3 2 

Fig. 10. See the plate . . . . 37 

Fig. ii. From a cast ... 37 

Fig. 12. Photograph from the original . , 39 

Fig. 13. See the plate . . 39 



To face page 

Fig. 14. See the plate . . . . 40 

Fig. 15. From a cast . . . . 42 

Fig. 1 6. From a cast . . . .42 

Figs. 17, 1 8. J. Menant, Recherches sur la 
Glyptique orientale, i, p. 164, Fig. 101 ; 
p. 163, Fig. 100 . . . .49 

Fig. 19. Photograph from the original - . . 50 

Fig. 20. E. Gerhard, Griechische und etruskische 

Trinkschalen, pi. viii, Fig. 2 . ' . 52 

Fig. 21. Photograph from the original . .54 

Figs. 22, 23. From a cast . . . .54 

Figs. 24, 25. From a cast . . . 56 

Fig. 26. Olympia, Tafelband iv: Die Bronzen, 

pi. vii, Fig. 45 56 

Fig. 27. From a cast . . . 59 

Fig. 28. From a cast . . . .64 

Fig. 29. Fouilles de Delphes, iv, Monuments figures, 

Sculpture, pis. xlix-1, Fig. 3 . '65 

Fig. 30. See the plate . . . -65 

Figs. 31, 32. Fouilles de Delphes, v, Petits Bronzes, 

pi. i, Figs. 8 and 10 . . .69 

Fig. 33. From a cast . . . .71 

Fig. 34. From a cast . . . .71 

Fig. 35. From a cast . . . . 71 

Fig. 36. Olympia, Tafelband iii : Die Bildwerke 

in Stein und Thon, pi. xxxvi, Fig. 4 . 71 

Fig. 37. p. Hartwig, Griechische Meisterschalen 


To face page 

aus der Bliitezeit des strengen rotfigurigen 
Stiles, Text, p. 109, Fig. 15 79 

Fig. ^ 8. A. Conze, Vorlegeblatter fur archao- 

logische Ubungen, Serie vi, pi. v . 79 

Fig. 39. From a cast . . . .86 

Fig. 40. See the plate . 87 

Fig. 41. From a cast . . 9 1 

Fig. 42. See the plate ... 9 1 

Fig. 43. From a cast in the Leipzig University 

collection . . . -95 

Fig. 44. From a cast . .98 

Fig. 45. A. Conze, Die attischen Grabreliefs, i, 

pi. Ixxxvii, No. 348 . . .104 

Fig. 46. A. Conze, Die attischen Grabreliefs, i, 

pi. xcv, No. 384 . . . .104 

Fig. 47. A. Conze, Die attischen Grabreliefs, ii, 

pi. cxxxii, No. 701 . . .104 

Fig. 48. A. Conze, Die attischen Grabreliefs, i, 

pi. Ixxvii, No. 332 . . .104 

Fig. 49. A. Conze, Die attischen Grabreliefs, i, 

pi. cviii, No. 454 . . .104 

Fig. 50. A. Conze, Die attischen Grabreliefs, i, 

pi. Ixxxv, No. 337 . . .104